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Bluebird CEO Michael Morey Talks Digital Infrastructure Career and Advice for Younger Generations on Nomad Futurist Podcast

Michael Morey, President and CEO of Bluebird Network, joined the Nomad Futurist podcast for a conversation on August 21, 2023 in an episode titled “Navigating the Digital Frontier.” Morey was interviewed by hosts Nabeel Mahmood and Phillip Koblence about his long career in the digital infrastructure industry and the winding path he took to becoming CEO of Bluebird.

While he grew up wanting to be a volcanologist, Morey’s interests initially led him away from volcanoes to earthquakes. As he began to think more about his future career throughout high school, Morey began to lean away from earthquakes themselves and more into the creation of buildings that can withstand quakes. He entered an architecture contest in his senior year of high school in San Diego county and took first place.

That spurred Morey on to get an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Southern California. After graduating with his bachelor’s, Morey continued his education and earned an MBA in 1982. That year, he started working at AT&T, where he would remain for the next 13 years.

While at AT&T, Morey founded an executive suites company on the side. This would end up providing valuable experience for the future, as Morey learned how to start a company, put together a business plan and raise money from investors.

In 1995, Morey left AT&T to become the Regional Vice President of a fiber-optic internet company named Electric Lightwave. While there, Morey saw firsthand how the internet was changing the world.

After settling in at Electric Lightwave, Morey embraced entrepreneurship once again and founded NewTera, an optical exchange carrier. Unfortunately, due to market instability, funding could not be completed for NewTera, but the experience did open another door for Morey. His would-be investors asked him to join a new company, NuVox, as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

In 2002, Morey started a voice over IP company called Voxitas, which merged with Appia Communications in 2010. At the beginning of 2012, Morey became the President and CEO of Bluebird Network.

Morey’s journey in the industry didn’t end in 2012. Bluebird’s revenues have tripled in the last 11 years with Morey at the helm, and he recognizes just how many choices in his life led him to where he is today.

“There’s this point in your life where something happens, and you walk through the door, and the trajectory of your life can be completely different,” Morey said. “I think these moments in people’s lives happen over and over and over again. I was always willing to be open to taking that next step.”

For Morey, it was working with the internet that changed the trajectory of his life. For today’s new employees in the tech world, Morey says the modern areas of change are security, artificial intelligence, the cloud and self-driving cars. To position themselves to be successful in the job field, Morey said, will take some effort on their part.

“Where’s the best place for you to be? What’s the best job for you to go after? What’s the best thing for you to train in to make yourself happy?

“I think that if you spend more time trying to figure out proactively where you should go, what can make things happen for you, you’re going to find the right place more often, and you’re going to be happier in those places. And you’re going to move up,” Morey said.

To hear more about Morey’s career history and his advice for young, up-and-coming tech workers, you can listen to the full podcast episode here.

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