Our list of 40 executives under 40 is compiled, as it has been since we produced our first list in 2009, from submissions made by our readers.
In each case we have double-checked information with the nominees themselves — in particular, that all valid nominees must have been born on or after July 1 1972.
We have been asking — on our own pages, on our website and in numerous emails to people in the industry — for nominations since the beginning of 2012. We contacted those who were in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 lists and asked them to make recommendations and nominations.
A few people from the 2011 and earlier lists are included in this year’s 40, but most names are new. That is not to say that the others are no longer of significance — some have passed the age barrier, but others have moved on to companies outside the industry or declined the opportunity to be nominated this year. And it is good to have a rolling membership, to reflect the ever-changing and fast-developing nature of this industry.
The final selection was difficult, and many great candidates have not made the final 40. If they are young enough, we hope they will seek nomination in 2013 and onwards.
All of this year’s 40 have expressed their intention to attend this year’s GTB 40 under 40 summit in London, on September 24-25. As in previous years, we will be working closely with the 40 themselves to develop a series of presentations and panels that they will want to take part in and to listen to: they, more than anyone, know the issues that will be most important to the industry in the next few years.
We will warmly welcome members of previous GTB 40 under 40s at the conference too — invitations will be sent out during April and May. And we look forward to working with this year’s GTB 40 under 40 as the year goes on.
Senior vice president, corporate strategy and marketing
Srini Addepalli embodies the spirit of adventure that Tata Communications represents. As a global challenger that grew out of an Indian government-owned provider with limited means and values, Tata Communications has defied odds by not only reinventing itself but also pioneering a composite model of wholesale and enterprise business that straddles the data and voice divide. Addepalli has played a pivotal role in this as the co-creator and enabler of the company’s strategy.
Enas Al Fardan
Manager of corporate strategy
Enas Al Fardan has started her career in telecom product management where she managed various service portfolios including e-applications, internet, messaging and value added services for Bahrain’s Batelco. By mid 2009, she was promoted to be manager of internet and messaging services.
In 2011, she became head the company’s corporate strategy office, reporting to CEO, with the role of managing the development of corporate strategy and governing the strategy execution across the company to ensure delivery on targets.
During this time, she has managed the project of developing Batelco Bahrain five-year corporate strategy 2012-2016, and she’s now in charge of governing the strategy implementation across the company.
Broadband networks standardisation manager
Christophe Alter is one of very few people influencing broadband development with a global perspective, addressing the network architecture from end-to-end, including mobile backhaul, next generation access, IPv6 migration, home networks and remote management. He is an untiring advocate for more interoperability and convergence.
Christophe was recently re-elected as chair of the Broadband Forum’s technical committee and he is a member of its board of directors. At Orange he manages the group’s broadband networks standards strategy
Regional vice president for service delivery solutions, Brazil
Telcordia (now part of Ericsson)
Fábio Araes has over 18 years of experience in the semiconductor and telecommunications industry with significant experience in service and application solutions sales and deployments in several telecommunications carriers, participating on systems startups evolving the business needs of various applications.
At Telcordia, he is responsible for sales and marketing management for one of the company’s largest customers, focusing on customer needs for future-oriented solutions and cost reductions. Araes has his MBA in marketing management and recently completed his GMP programme in Harvard Business School.
Vice president and managing director, Middle East and Africa
In his short time at Syniverse, Nabil Baccouche has rapidly expanded the company’s Middle East and Africa sales and operations from its Dubai regional headquarters.
Baccouche joined Syniverse in 2011 to reinforce the company’s position in the area with his in-depth regional understanding, operator relationships, and extensive international telecom experience. He has since strengthened Syniverse’s local support to its more than 85+ customers in the region, including tier one mobile players and major group operators.
Before Syniverse, Nabil held executive-level positions at Tunisie Telecom, Emirates International Telecommunications and Belgacom ICS, where he established the company’s Dubai regional office.
Mukesh Bavisi became managing director of Exponential-E in 2011. He has been instrumental in the company punching above its weight and in regularly taking complex business solution wins away from its competitors. Bavisi’s business insight, engineering knowhow and absolute focus on the customer has driven the company’s 30-40% growth for the last four consecutive years.
After pioneering UK VPLS, Mukesh is transitioning to a “smart-wired cloud” uniquely combining intelligent networking with cloud bundles on-demand.
Global director, products and marketing
Nathan Bell started his career in the global telecommunications industry in 1997, and by 2006 he was already responsible for managing BT Global Services’ Asia Pacific portfolio and professional services organisation and a team of over 120 employees across 10 countries.
He has gained worldwide recognition for his expertise in developing new capabilities and revenue streams in new and emerging markets across Asia Pacific and central and eastern Europe.
Since joining Telstra, Bell has used his extensive experience to maximise the company’s investments in emerging markets and drive its transition from a traditional networking business to a truly global managed services organisation.
Alberto Bezanilla has been a board member of Chilean operator GTD since 2007, and was recently appointed CEO. He has a diverse background, having worked for Unilever in planning, and spent 10 years in the financial sector. He has had positions from investment banking to asset management in major institutions like JP Morgan and Banco de Chile. He holds a MBA and master of engineering management from Kellogg.
His inner thrive, round character and past experiences will allow him drive GTD to its next phase, increasing top line revenue through new products and services, and starting the international expansion of GTD in Latin America.
GTD has been a leading player in the Chilean corporate sector since inception, and has expanded through acquisitions to the residential segment with great success. This growth trend has to continue. GTD’s revenues for 2011 surpassed $300 million, with an ebitda margin of 47%.
Vice president of marketing, communications and public affairs
Allison Cerra has co-authored two books based on extensive market research defining new business models for telecom networks — with an estimated $100 billion market opportunity — and explores how networks are shaping human identity. Her latest book, Identity Shift, received praise from Forbes and International Business Times.
In 2011, her team implemented campaigns driving more than $50 million in incremental revenue; a world-class executive briefing centre in Brazil attracting more than 100 customer visits in the first few months; a 53-foot mobile marketing experience on wheels that drew 2,000 visitors in 24 states of the US; more than 75 events and hundreds of customer visits to the company’s technology showcase in Texas; external communications that earned top share of voice against key competitors.
Carlos de Morais Cordeiro
Wireless Gigabit Alliance and Intel Corporation
Carlos Cordeiro pioneers the field of multi-gigabit-per-second wireless, and is enabling a new wave of devices and applications, including ultra-thin and connectorless ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets.
He is technical editor to both WiGig — the Wireless Gigabit Alliance — and the IEEE 802.11ad standard where these wireless technologies are developed. The industry is building products using technologies developed by Cordeiro.
He has received various awards for his accomplishments including the IEEE Outstanding Engineer Award 2011 (region 6), the worldwide IEEE 2007 New Face of Engineering, the IEEE Technological Innovation Award 2007 (region 1), and the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Research of the Year Award.
President of fibre solutions
Matt Erickson is a proven leader in the telecom industry and has played a critical role in the founding of network operator Zayo and of its acquisition strategy and continued success.
Zayo is committed to developing bandwidth infrastructure solutions for tomorrow’s technologies and Erickson has implemented this vision by launching Zayo Fiber Solutions in 2010, a business unit focused on Zayo’s dark fibre network. The division has led the organic growth of the company by more than 20% a year in revenue and by more than 30% a year in ebitda. Today, the division is approaching $80 million in revenue and $50 million in ebitda.
Chief commercial officer
John Finney has been one of the pioneers of O3b, one of the most exciting satellite start-ups of the past decade. Over the past two years he has established a global sales and marketing function from scratch and has booked sales on every continent, bringing the contract backlog in excess of $500 million.
His customer-centric approach and people-oriented personality have allowed him to build relationships of trust with senior industry executives and key decision makers.
He has also taken responsibility for developing O3b’s global suite of products, all of which were successfully launched this year.
Country manager, UK
Alex Franks heads all aspects of Blyk’s UK business, including the strategic partnership with Everything Everywhere. He joined Blyk as operations director in 2007 and helped it launch as the world’s first ad-funded mobile network. Throughout 2011, he continued to grow the footprint of Blyk in the UK. The success of the service managed for Orange UK enabled Blyk to launch the T-Mobile UK version following the operators’ merger into Everything Everywhere. UK activity has contributed significantly to Blyk’s growing its opt-in audience to over four million across its markets, and increasing ad revenues by a factor of four in 2011.
Vice president, global access strategy
Andy Funk has earned a reputation as a driving force in the industry. As part of Virtela’s founding team, Funk was instrumental in developing the company’s disruptive multi-carrier model for delivering global network and cloud services.
He is responsible for creating Virtela’s extensive global footprint, developing and managing more than 750 service provider relationships. He is also the architect behind Virtela’s automation of the complex global supply chain, tracking current price and ongoing performance of providers worldwide, giving customers optimal service selection, a pivotal competitive differentiation.
Known for his creative problem-solving skills, Funk gains deep respect from industry peers.
Group chief commercial officer
After starting his telecom career with Vodafone in the UK, Mikhail Gerchuk successfully led the commercial function at MTS, strengthening its leadership position in Russia, launching convergent products and making MTS the most valuable Russian brand.
In October 2011 Gerchuk moved to VimpelCom as the chief commercial officer of the new group, product of mergers between VimpelCom, Kyivstar, Orascom and Wind, to lead commercial operations across 19 countries and realise synergies in roaming, devices and product development.
Vice president of marketing
Mark Grodzinsky has spent his entire career pushing boundaries of innovation and leadership in wireless networking. As Wilocity’s VP of marketing, he’s launching a first-to-market multi-gigabit wireless chipset that industry followers labelled “jaw dropping” and “mind-blowing”.
He’s helped lead the wireless industry for the past decade as marketing chair of WiGig, the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, chair of 60 gigahertz marketing task group of the Wi-Fi Alliance, chair of the Enhanced Wireless Consortium and chair of the 802.11n marketing task group of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
He also led product definition and marketing for Intel’s first 802.11n ground-breaking Centrino platform. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard.
President, portfolio and service design
BT Global Services
Ashish Gupta was promoted to president, portfolio and service design three years ago, a position which encompasses the role of CIO for BT Global Services, an £8 billion business.
His organisation employs 4,500 people and is responsible for BT Global Services product portfolio, network and systems engineering, and contract delivery to 7,000 of the world’s leading corporate and public sector organisations in 170 countries.
His mandate is to drive increased profitability while improving customer satisfaction. A highly motivated, strategic and tenacious leader, Gupta puts the customer at the heart of BT’s portfolio innovations.
Executive vice president human resources and transformation, and member of the management committee
Christel Heydemann is an outstanding young executive with a clear business track record, as well as a strong sense of social leadership. Today, she leads Alcatel-Lucent’s human resources organisation counting 77,000 employees, 130 countries and more than 100 nationalities.
Previously, she was responsible for Alcatel-Lucent’s strategic alliance with HP, overseeing €1 billion of business opportunities.
She is also passionate about the transformational role of executive leadership and the responsibility to society. Her ambition is to take knowledge and see how she can transform other communities through education, mentoring and bringing corporate leaders together in a more balanced and proactive core value system suited to today’s reality.
Text to Change
Bas Hoefman is the co-founder of Text to Change, a mobile phone-based service provider working on healthcare, education, agriculture and accountability in 15 countries in Africa and South America.
TTC has reached over 500,000 mobile phone users with mobile health quizzes, price information systems and mobile learning systems in emerging markets.
Until now mobile telephony has never been used on such a large scale and systematic manner for this purpose.
Alvarez and Marsal Europe
Richard Hudson has detailed knowledge of both mobile and fixed line telecommunications and has both advised and served on the boards of a number of large telecommunications companies in Europe, including Wind Hellas and Eircom.
He has worked within the industry for a number of years principally supporting struggling businesses, helping them to address the ever changing industry landscape and leading both operational and financial restructurings of those businesses to deliver new investment and to allow the businesses to return to growth.
Notable successes include the €1.9bn restructuring of Wind Hellas. He is now on secondment to Eircom to support the CEO and CFO with its restructuring.
Vice president and managing director, Europe and Middle East
Rob Jonas is one of the early digital pioneers in Europe, where he helped build the search business at Overture, Yahoo! and finally Google. He then turned his attention to mobile, where he helped grow InMobi to become the largest global independent mobile advertising network.
Jonas is the consummate business operator, combining a sharp intellect with impeccable execution. He is a strategic thinker, a business practitioner, and always at the forefront of his chosen field.
Chief customer strategy officer
Fundamo, a Visa company
A mobile financial services pioneer and visionary, Gavin Krugel has been involved in a number of the world’s most successful mobile money deployments including Wizzit, MTN Banking, mTranZact, Simplus and Cointel, as well as leading the GSM Association’s mobile money initiatives globally.
At Fundamo, Krugel is responsible for helping service providers meet the biggest challenge facing the industry — driving customer activation. In this role Krugel is spearheading a team of experienced mobile financial services practitioners to drive the future success of the industry.
Partner, head of technology and communications
Vincenzo Lanni is partner at law firm Charles Russell and head of its technology and communications group.
He is a transactional lawyer with 15 years’ experience advising players such as Cable & Wireless, Gamma Telecom, Geo Networks, ITV and Vizada.
Lanni typically advises international telecommunications businesses on corporate transactions, acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and private equity, including major commercial agreements.
He has advised Monaco Telecom on its arrangements with OnAir enabling passengers to use mobile phones on commercial aircraft and Arqiva on its mobile network infrastructure arrangements with Everything Everywhere.
He is a practical lawyer who understands his clients’ businesses and adds clear commercial value to each transaction.
Vice president of marketing
Vasyl Latsanych is in charge of development and implementation of the MTS group’s marketing strategy. Before assuming his current position, Latsanych was in charge of MTS’s Ukraine operations.
He was promoted to the current role in 2011 and oversaw transition from subscriber acquisition to retention model in Russia. In a few months Latsanych has managed to refocus marketing activities on increasing customers loyalty and reducing costs of subscriber additions.
He developed marketing initiatives that have helped to boost MTS’s margins and retain its share in the competitive market environment.
Chief marketing officer
Mark Liversidge carries an absolute focus for the mobile operator being not the phone shop. Having directed the market approach away from the price lead, device reliant category norm, he has transformed Hong Kong’s CSL into regaining market leadership by implementing a true experience led marketing strategy.
Liversidge delivers a unique multi-brand strategy with many new category innovations, including creating brand specific retail experiences, inimitable customer lifestyle programmes, intelligence based communications and creative achieving market leading engagement, a first in region volume based pricing strategy and a pioneering device vendor sub-brand program.
Liversidge is now seen as a leading edge thinker in marketing across categories in the region.
CEO and co-founder
Monitise began in 2003 when Alastair Lukies saw the potential of enabling consumers to manage money via their mobile, regardless of handset, mobile operator and whether they have a bank account.
Monitise now has live operations on every continent with positive growth projections.
It provides services to more than 250 financial institutions and has a global partnership with Visa to deliver services to more than 1.9 billion cardholders.
The Monitise platform processes 480 million transactions a year for more than six million users. Monitise is playing a central role in revolutionising how consumers bank, pay and shop.
In October 2008 against a backdrop of a difficult economic climate and an already crowded mobile advertising market, Victor Malachard co-founded Adfonic.
Despite the challenges, Adfonic has grown to become the third-largest global mobile advertising network, reaching an estimated 200 million mobile users each month. Over 35 billion monthly ad requests are generated through Adfonic’s network.
The company received a further $7.5 million investment round in September 2011 which is being used to fund global expansion and product development. The company employs 70 people, with local operations in London, Madrid, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Singapore.
Ubico Networks and Citycom Networks
In 2009 Udit Mehrotra was named Young Innovative Telecom Entrepreneur at the National Telecom Awards of India. This reflects his impressive list of achievements through which he has changed the market for retail and enterprise services in India.
Founded by Mehrotra in 2007, Ubico Networks is now the largest vendor of equipment for in-building and in-campus networks in India. Another venture, CityCom Networks, is India’s first independent intra-city carrier of carriers building a world-class optical fibre network across the largest cities.
Mehrotra is also a director of the Shyam Group which has a footprint in most areas of the Indian telco market and a director of VNL which specialises in rural telephony.
Ng Soon Leng
Assistant vice president, international business development and voice switch
Ng Soon Leng joined StarHub in 2000 and now leads the international business development and voice switch team. He is responsible for developing strategic relationships with StarHub’s partner carriers and oversees more than $100 million worth of investments in international network projects.
He also oversees the strategic planning and implementation of StarHub’s overseas network presence.
Ng’s recent successes include working with global carriers such as AT&T and Telstra to jointly invest in and build the Asia-America Gateway. This is a landmark project for StarHub, being the first submarine cable project it embarked on as a landing party, breaking the incumbent’s stronghold on landing consortium cable systems in Singapore.
Vice president of channel sales EMEA
Huw Owen has only been in his current role at Motorola-spinoff Good Technology, an enabler of secure bring-your-own-device and consumerisation in the telecoms market, for one year, and in that time, the company has already seen fit to crown him leader of the year.
Owen designed and executed against an aggressive growth strategy which means Good is available in 20 additional EMEA regions, and has secured top tier partnerships with companies such as Vodafone, SDG, Computacenter, SCC, HP and Integralis.
This channel strategy has enabled Good to achieve strong growth in the 12 months since he joined the company.
Country manager, India
Shubhodip Pal has over 14 years of marketing experience in launching, building and managing brands from consumer durables, banking and computer hardware sector, with key positions such as head of consumer marketing at Hewlett Packard India, successfully managing both brands HP and Compaq. His stint with Samsung India included managing categories such as mobile phones, audiovisual and home appliances.
He also worked as assistant vice president and head of communications and sponsorships at ABN AMRO Bank and was part of its Asian brand strategy team.
As head of Blyk India, he marries dynamism and experience to create magic for all brand campaigns, which has established Blyk as one of the most powerful youth engagement platforms for brands within one year of launch in the country.
Director, voice, broadband and content
Under Alex Pannell’s leadership at BT Wholesale, UK ISPs can offer fibre broadband to more than 7 million homes and businesses, and next generation copper-based broadband to more than 20 million.
He is key to BT’s TV strategy. His wholesale broadband service delivers TV and content capabilities, and his media and broadcast division includes BT agilemedia, a TV audience participation platform, and TV outside broadcast, which covers 2,500 events a year including premier league football, international cricket and rugby. Pannell recently launched BT’s award winning IP based converged voice and communications service.
At BT Global Services he led the expansion of BT’s global IP network reach to 170 countries.
Vice president, EMEA sales
Tarcisio Ribeiro brings global experience and an impressive track record of growth to the role in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has grown EMEA revenues by 47% since 2010, and expanded Tellabs’ presence in Russia, Germany, Poland, France and Spain, and achieved significant presence in important African markets.
Ribeiro has successfully increased the company’s market share in key product areas, including optical and professional services, to augment the company’s strong position in mobile backhaul.
Chief commercial officer
Shayan Sanyal is responsible for Bluwan’s go-to-market strategy, helping mobile network operators with LTE rollout, guiding the company’s “fibre through the air” technology through trials with Paris Gigacom and Orange Slovakia.
Sanyal is committed to helping bridge the digital divide in emerging markets. He helps emerging markets leapfrog developed nations by taking advantage of technical breakthroughs, enabling populations access to superfast mobile services and broadband access, while providing a return on investment in less than 24 months.
With 14 years of telecommunications experience, Sanyal served as director of solutions architecture worldwide for Amdocs, and as an advisor to Telkom South Africa and BT.
Chief operating officer
Ryan Sher possesses a rare combination of technical and business expertise. As well as being a key force in implementing the EASSy submarine cable — now delivering international fibre-optic connectivity to southern and eastern Africa — his drive, energy and commercial acumen have been instrumental in taking WIOCC to its current position as a leading player in the African wholesale capacity market.
Vice president, products and technology
Chip Strange is known for his commitment to excellence, aggressive market positioning and entrepreneurial spirit.
In 2006, while working for Alltel Wireless, Strange was central to creating the first 3G roaming deployment among competitors in the US, yielding Alltel strategic leverage and $100 million in annual savings.
In 2011, he was named vice president of products and technology at Mosaik Solutions, where he drives the corporate rebranding project, global product management and alliance development. With a commitment to customers and investors, his business acumen and experience, he will continue to develop and execute strategic plans to exceed global growth expectations.
Head of Asian telecoms research, and telecoms, internet and new media strategist
James Sullivan has over 14 years of experience in emerging markets, and has been based in Asia since 1999.
Before joining JP Morgan he was a managing director responsible for Millennium’s Asian telecoms, media and internet company investment portfolio. Before this, he managed similar Asian sector portfolios for Citadel (Hong Kong) and Oaktree (Singapore).
Sullivan has also provided consulting services to StarHub, a listed Singapore operator; and Kong.com, a listed Chinese internet company.
Executive director, mobile health
Jeanine Vos heads the GSM Association’s global connected mobile health solutions programme. She is an effective and confident leader, responsible for defining the strategic direction of the programme, and forging strong relationships with member companies as well as stakeholders across the entire healthcare ecosystem.
Before, Vos was the GSMA’s go-to expert on a range of initiatives including the economic and social benefits of mobile, spectrum licensing, interconnection and international roaming key policy and regulatory programmes.
She has also headed the GSMA’s policy activities to shape the industry position on the evolution to IP networks and net neutrality.
Chief intellectual property officer
In 2011, ZTE made 2,826 patent applications, making it the number one company, worldwide, in terms of patent applications, having moved from the number two spot in 2010.
The company’s chief intellectual property officer, Wang Haibo is also an arbitrator of the Guangzhou arbitration commission, the vice chairman of the board of Guangzhou IP Arbitration Court, the vice executive president of the Shenzhen Patent Association, a member of the Shenzhen Judicial Expertise Expert Committee, the mediation expert of South China branch of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, and a member of the Government IP Expert Commission in Chengdu.
Senior director of technology
Dan Warren is that rarest of individuals in telecoms, someone capable of combining depth of technical knowledge, understanding of the business and ability to communicate both to a range of audiences.
His leadership of the GSM Association’s definition of voice over LTE is evidence of this breadth of skills, while his expertise has been fundamental to the work the GSMA is leading on embedded mobile, wifi roaming, IP interconnect and the future of roaming.
Warren’s leadership and input shapes the direction of GSMA projects, which in turn shape the ecosystems that will move the mobile industry towards an all-IP future.
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