Ed Carney, a former Cisco and IBM executive who currently heads an Internet-of-Things startup, is the new chair of MCNC. He succeeds Tom Rabon, who led the board for five years and helped spearhead development of the first state-wide fiber optic network in NC.

Carney is currently CEO of Qualia Networks.

Rabon is chair and partner in consulting firm New Kind.

“I first want to thank Tom for his example of leadership in his role as chairman. I will work hard to live up to the standard that he’s set,” said Carney in a statement. “I look forward to working with an amazing team and inspirational leader in Jean Davis to continue serving the networking needs of North Carolina.”

Rabon helped MCNC secure in funding from the Golden LEAF economic development organization which in turned helped MCNC secure federal support for the $144 million North Carolina Research and Education Network upgrade to fiber.

“Tom has been a champion for MCNC through a period of tremendous accomplishments. His focus, passion and commitment to this demanding volunteer role has benefited every citizen in North Carolina the last five years,” said MCNC CEO Jean Davis. “We look forward to welcoming Ed into this role; he will be an incredible asset for us to continue driving broadband innovation and connectivity in our communities.”

Carney has worked more than three decades in a wide variety of technology roles, including serving as Cisco’s top executive in RTP He also is active in numerous community organizations such as the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

In other board moves, Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, is the new vice chair. Curtis Wynn, chief executive of Roanoke Electric Coop, also joined the 13-member board.