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Involta Appoints New CEO Months After Carlyle Buys Firm

C.J. Fairfield

As president and CEO, Buie will focus on the company’s growth across all sectors, lead Involta’s pioneering edge practice and integrate a higher level of sustainability initiatives across the company’s data center portfolio

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Involta has appointed its current president, James Buie, as CEO of the MSP, which was acquired by Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Carlyle earlier this year.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Involta, which is on CRN’s 2022 MSP 500, focuses on data center, hybrid IT and cloud-forward solutions. Buie replaces founder Bruce Lehrman in the top job.

“As I take the torch from one of our true industry pioneers, I plan to continue leveraging our deep channel relationships, accolades and prowess to build trusted relationships,” Buie said in an email to CRN. “We will build on our past successes and collaborate with our partners to continue delivering and deploying the solutions needed to solve the most complex of IT challenges. We are also looking to grow our footprint into additional markets across the country as the demand for enterprise-level, hybrid IT support grows.”

Lehrman will become vice-chair of Involta’s board of directors, effective immediately.

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Buie joined Involta in 2016 as chief financial officer to further drive profitability for the company and expand its nationwide footprint. As CFO, he grew the company’s hybrid cloud and strategic consulting offerings through acquiring BluPrairie and IT|Lynk. In 2020, he became president of the company where he restructured the firm’s operations to help scale and deliver services to accelerate growth.

Before Involta, he was the senior vice president of Flexential from 2012 to 2016 and the vice president of Comcast from 2002 to 2011.

As president and CEO, Buie will focus on the company’s growth across all sectors, lead Involta’s pioneering edge practice and integrate a higher level of sustainability initiatives across the company’s data center portfolio. Buie will also help strengthen the company’s channel focus and expand partner base.

“What began as a local colocation data center company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has now become a nationally recognized organization offering best-in-class, security-focused data center facilities and infrastructure, hybrid cloud and managed IT services,” said Lehrman in a statement. “Everyone at Involta, from our newest hires to our leadership team, has been critical in making this growth possible. I know Involta will continue to succeed under Jim’s exemplary leadership. His insight, experience and future outlooks will be integral to Involta’s continued success.”

Involta owns and operates 12 data center facilities and an in-house 12,000-plus fiber-mile network. Carlyle said that it would help expand Involta’s operations, which today are located primarily in the Midwest as well as the Pacific Northwest and Southwest.

Carlyle acquired Involta this past February from another private equity firm, M/C Partners.

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C.J. Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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