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
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
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
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
Regional vice president for service delivery solutions,
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
Vice president and managing director, Middle East and
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sullivan has also provided consulting services to StarHub, a
listed Singapore operator; and Kong.com, a listed Chinese
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
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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