Netifice Communications, which has raised more than $40 million in venture capital, has a new chairman and chief executive officer.

The seven-year-old firm hired D. Craig Young, a veteran of several other network-related companies whom it said in a statement will “establish the company as the leading provider of secure IP based data and voice solutions through strategic investments and growth initiatives.”

Young replaces founder Steve Schilling, who now is president and chief operating officer.

Young was formerly vice chairman and president of AT&T Canada, CEO of MetroNet and president as well as COO of Brooks Fiber.

Netifice focuses on Internet Protocol-based virtual private networking solutions.

“I am very excited about joining the Netifice team which has achieved impressive sales growth by delivering advanced IP VPN solutions with an unrelenting focus on customer satisfaction,” Young said in a statement. “No other company in this space has the momentum and breadth of vision to deliver the quality and value to customers that Netifice can. Its technology is perfectly positioned to lead the next generation of secure data and voice telecommunications solutions.”

Netifice raised $8 million in financing two years ago when it acquired California-based Epoch Networks. It had raised $6.5 million earlier that year.

“We are extremely fortunate to recruit an industry veteran of Craig’s caliber at such an important time in Netifice’s history,” Schilling added. “With our unique IP service delivery platform and the proven demand for flexible, cost-effective IP data and voice solutions, Netifice is well positioned to capture this growing market. And, Craig is an extremely qualified telecommunications executive with the experience and vision to guide Netifice to the next level in market dominance.”

Netifice’s primary financial backers include Columbia Capital, Boston Millennia Partners, Dolphin Equity Partners, and H.I.G. Capital.

“Netifice Communications has executed remarkably and is highly regarded throughout the industry for delivering robust IP VPN solutions to companies that demand mission-critical service and support,” said John Siegel, Netifice board member and a partner with Columbia Capital, one of Netifice’s lead investors, in the press announcement. “With the addition of Craig, one of the most sought after executives in the telecom industry, Netifice will build on this success to create increased value for its customers and exciting growth opportunities for its employees and investors.”

Schilling launched Netifice in December of 1996. The company has built what it calls “the nation’s largest network footprint for business-class IP connectivity, supporting the broadest array of access methods.”