Free Trial

Global Telecoms Business
Global Telecoms Business Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of the publisher
Email a friend
  • Please enter a maximum of 5 recipients. Use ; to separate more than one email address.

GTB Power 100: numbers 1-25

28 September 2012

Global Telecoms Business announces numbers 1 to 25 of the Power 100, the list of the 100 most powerful people in telecoms

Read more: Power100 Power 100 powerful telecoms GTB Power 100

Global Telecoms Business has announced the 2012 Global Telecoms Business Power 100.

Numbers 1-25 are below.
For numbers 26-50 click here.
For numbers 51-75 click here.
For numbers 76-100 click here.
Each listing includes a recent interview in Global Telecoms Business with the executive concerned or, where there is no interview, an article about the executive or the company.   
Dan Mead
Verizon Wireless
Dan Mead, CEO of Verizon Wireless, runs the largest LTE operation in the world, by a substantial margin. According to market data Verizon Wireless has 63% of the world’s total users, almost three times as many at the second largest, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo.
Verizon Wireless, a venture in which Vodafone owns a 45% stake, has played a leading role in getting LTE ready to be the universal standard for mobile communications, partnering with both Vodafone and China Mobile.
Their collaboration on global standards helped get LTE off the drawing board and into production, and Verizon Wireless helped the industry’s top vendors get started. 
Dan Mead, CEO of Verizon Wireless, tells how world's biggest ... 16 Feb 2012

Randall Stephenson
Since Randall Stephenson became CEO in 2007, AT&T had led the mobile internet revolution, with the industry-best smartphone and emerging wireless device portfolio. AT&T grew dramatically in delivering advanced TV services, with AT&T U-verse now reaching some 30 million living units. Under his leadership, AT&T invested aggressively in new technologies, and undertook a large education initiative focused on high-school graduation and workforce readiness. In 2008 AT&T invested more than $100 million to help at-risk high school students prepare for college and careers. In 2012, the company launched an additional commitment of $250 million. A downside of the past year has been his failed attempt to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. 
Interview: Randall Stephenson of AT&T 08 Dec 2010

Carlos Slim Helù
América Móvil
The richest person in the world is chairman and CEO of América Móvil, which now includes Telmex and which has started to expand out of central and South America. In past months the company has bought substantial stakes in both KPN of the Netherlands and Telekom Austria, and it also owns an MVNO in the US. Slim is one of the co-chairs, with president Paul Kagame of Rwanda, of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, set up by the ITU’s Hamadoun Touré. Broadband is the nervous system of today’s new civilisation, says Slim, so broadband access is a top priority for our technological society. 
América Móvil now looking at Poland 24 Aug 2012

Tim Cook
As CEO of Apple for more than a year following the illness — and then early death — of company founder Steve Jobs, Tim Cook has continued the company’s ground-breaking role in the industry. The iPhone 5, announced in September, has had people queuing for days. The iPad is now the industry’s standard tablet. Both are changing the way people use mobile communications — and are causing telecoms operators stress as they struggle to cater for the huge bandwidth demands. Before taking the top job, Cook was responsible for all of Apple’s worldwide sales and operations, so has a truly global view of the industry. 
Apple CEO Steve Jobs steps down 25 Aug 2011

César Alierta
César Alierta is executive chairman and CEO of Telefónica, the world’s fourth biggest in terms of revenue and with operations in 25 countries. Having led the company to global leadership, he has further transformed the organisation to build an even more integrated group. Today, the O2 and Movistar brands are at the heart of Alierta’s vision — become the leading provider of digital experiences for its 300 million customers worldwide. A visionary, Alierta’s decision to create Telefónica Digital is paying off with the operator increasingly regarded as making the best forward-looking moves in an increasingly convergent and competitive environment. 
Telefónica restructures top management 06 Sep 2011

Larry Page
One of the co-founders of Google in 1998 with Sergey Brin, Larry Page took over as CEO in 2011 after Eric Schmidt became executive chairman. Now he heads an empire that runs not only the world’s top search engine along with its ancillary services — from email to maps — but also YouTube, one of the big OTT services, and Android, the operating system that is outrunning Apple’s iOS, with an estimated 500 million active devices in operation and a 59% share of the smartphone business. Having been outbid in the auction of Nortel’s intellectual property, Google did manage to buy Motorola’s handset business. 
Google now owns Motorola Mobility 23 May 2012

Lowell McAdam
Verizon Communications
Lowell McAdam took over in August 2011 from Ivan Seidenberg as president and CEO of the Verizon Communications group, now delivering fibre to more than 4 million US homes under the FiOS brand. Fixed operations are something of a novelty: he essentially comes from the mobile side of the industry, having been COO of Verizon and CEO of Verizon Wireless. He is chairman of the Verizon Wireless board of representatives. He has held key executive positions at Verizon Wireless since its inception in 2000 and was previously at AirTouch, an ancestor of Verizon Wireless, working with operations in Europe and Asia. 
Lowell McAdam takes over from Ivan Seidenberg at Verizon 12 Aug 2011

Vittorio Colao
Vittorio Colao is the CEO of Vodafone the biggest international operator in world, which in the past few months has started to absorb much the CWW side of the remains of the old Cable & Wireless, a global operation with a faded heritage. Meanwhile he’s taken a confrontational stance against the nearest the European Union has to a regulator, Neelie Kroes, the commissioner responsible for telecommunications, implying that her policies are creating an unfriendly environment that are leading to a decline in investment and in innovation in the continent that created the mobile industry. But he’s turning Vodafone’s attention away from low-growth Europe to Asia and Africa. 
Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao laments Europe's loss of ... 29 Mar 2012

Franco Bernabè
Telecom Italia and GSM Association
GSM Assocation chairman and Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabè first made his mark as an oil man, as boss of Italian hydrocarbons giant ENI. Though he now trades in bits rather than barrels, his company’s approach is still characterised by broad strategies and an eye to international activities. Close to Spain’s Telefónica in Europe, the two are competitors in Brazil and Argentina, where TI has been much more than holding its own. The South American markets now provide above 30% percent of TI’s revenues, offsetting softer European results. As for his first love, oil, Bernabè is a member of the board of China National Petroleum. 
Focus on customers, not bankers, says Telecom Italia chief 30 Mar 2011

Hiroo Unoura
Hiroo Unoura was elected to his position as president and CEO of NTT in June 2012, having worked for the company since April 1973. He replaced Satoshi Miura, who had started with NTT six years earlier, when Miura became chairman.
He is powerful because NTT is the biggest operator by revenue in the world, with revenues of $134 billion. And it can wield its power, in terms of resources and staff. Only six weeks after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 — which killed 20,000 and destroyed virtually all NTT’s infrastructure in the area — the company had replaced almost all its exchanges and had a working network again. 
Lessons in resilience from the 2011 earthquake disaster, says ... 04 Jul 2012
Hamadoun Touré
International Telecommunication Union
Hamadoun Touré’s term of office as secretary general of the ITU ends in December 2014, and must now be thinking carefully of his next move. He was the prime mover in setting up the UN’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development, gathering an astonishing collection of the industry’s leaders, and has effectively led it as co-vice-chair. One of his final challenges at the ITU is the revived ITU Telecom conference — in Dubai in mid-October. Next year he will be taking soundings about the next job: Malian politics sound less appealing than a role in the UN or private industry: he has a great address book. 
Interview: Hamadoun Touré of the ITU 17 Feb 2011

Li Yue
China Mobile
Li Yue has been CEO of China Mobile, the biggest operator in the world, since August 2010 — replacing Wang Jianzhou, who became chairman for a time and has now retired. Li, who studied at universities in Beijing, Tianjin and Hong Kong, is in charge of a company which is putting on millions of new customers a month, and which is on of the pioneers of TDD LTE, the time-division-duplex version of LTE which is being seen by many as a way to meet rising spectrum demands. Li has been an executive director since 2003. He has a doctorate in business administration and is a professor-level senior engineer. 
TDD gains acceptance as operators look for efficient wireless ... 30 Aug 2012

René Obermann
Deutsche Telekom
René Obermann has been CEO of Deutsche Telekom since November 2006, and is now also in charge in innovation in the group. He began his career with BMW before forming ABC Telekom in 1986. That was bought by Hutchison Whampoa in 1991 and he became managing partner and then chairman of Hutchison Mobilfunk until moving to the DT group in 1998 as managing director of sales at T-Mobile. He spent the next eight years at the mobile unit. As CEO of DT, he failed to sell the US operation in 2011 but has merged the UK business with France Telecom’s as the newly renamed EE. 
How René Obermann 'the Doberman' saved DT 22 Jun 2011

Hans Vestberg
At the end of 2012 Hans Vestberg will have been CEO of Ericsson for three years, having previously been CFO. He has now worked at Ericsson for more than 20 years. He has streamlined the company into fewer divisions, making it more efficient and faster to react, and has led it to buy good prospects in the industry — especially Telcordia, giving it an even stronger US foothold than it had before and an expanded OSS/BSS offering worldwide. Now he’s considering buying NSN’s business support systems unit, as part of the continuing rationalisation of the industry. It’s still number one and is more likely to survive than most. 
Interview: Hans Vestberg of Ericsson 05 Mar 2010

Stéphane Richard
France Telecom-Orange
Stéphane Richard has been the chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange since March 2011, having spent three months as deputy CEO in early 2010 as heir apparent to then CEO Didier Lombard and then CEO while Lombard continued in the chairmanship. Richard’s background is in the transport industry, but like many French executives he has also spent time in government: he began his career in 1991 as a technical advisor at the ministry of industry and exterior commerce, and in 2007-09 he was chief of staff to Christine Lagarde when she was France’s finance minister. She later became head of the International Monetary Fund. 
France Telecom CEO gets chairman role 24 Feb 2011

Dan Hesse
Dan Hesse did well for Sprint, of which he is CEO, at the end of 2011 by leading the opposition to AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. Since Hesse joined the company in December 2007, Sprint’s customer experience has gone from worst to first in the US industry. In 2011, Sprint added more than five million total customers, reaching its highest ever number, and posted overall revenue and operating income growth. Sprint has been able launch the iPhone — though in an expensive CDMA version — and roll out its network vision technology upgrade, which are expected to drive the company’s growth and long-term value. 
Growth opportunity from 250m vehicles on US roads 28 Feb 2011

Ren Zhengfei
Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei Technologies more than two decades ago and is the company’s president. He and Huawei have turned the infrastructure world on its ear. Like its fierce Chinese rival ZTE the company has done well in emerging markets, but the two are also appearing more and more in developed economies too — though the company has had to answer tough questions from US politicians, suspicious of its background. The company has invested hugely in Shenzhen, where it employs tens of thousands of engineers, but Ren has started to hire a number of prominent and influential westerners as it becomes more of a global power. 
Huawei to invest $2bn in UK 12 Sep 2012
Jo Lunder
Jo Lunder became CEO of VimpelCom in July 2011, at what may be a period of
stability in the company after two huge transformational deals in the previous two years — a merger with Ukraine’s Kyivstar in October 2010 followed by the purchase of Wind Italy and a controlling 51% stake in Orascom Telecom Holding in April 2011. There are still issues with shareholders, but to company has moved its headquarters from Moscow to Amsterdam, where he has a lean company focusing on procurement efficiencies. There’s likely to be some rationalisation of the company’s diverse holdings — from Canada to Vietnam via Zimbabwe — in coming years. 
VimpelCom retains brands but aims to save $2.5bn in ... 09 Feb 2012

Masayoshi Son
Masayoshi Son is chairman and chief executive of SoftBank, the company he founded in 1981. The company was initially involved in publishing and moved into telecoms in 2004 with the purchase of Japan Telecom. The company subsequently acquired Cable & Wireless’s Japanese operations in 2005 and Vodafone Japan in 2006. It had a market capitalisation of $43 billion in 2011. The company has a sizeable 3G operation but is planning to cover 99% of Japan’s 127 million people by early 2013 with what is being hailed as the world’s largest commercial TDD LTE network, a 4G mobile broadband network that uses a dense network of tiny base stations. 
Softbank picks Ericsson for 900MHz 3G net 26 Mar 2012

Ralph de la Vega
AT&T Mobility
Ralph de la Vega is president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, a position he has held since 2007. He is responsible for the company’s largest growth engine and is leading the company to develop the next wave of innovation, setting up centres under the AT&T Foundry brand not just in the US but abroad. LTE, cloud and HTML5 are arriving together, he says, to bring a new wave of innovation into the industry. AT&T is following Verizon Wireless in the US to build out an LTE network, driven like its rival to the new technology to make the best use of limited and expensive spectrum as data demands are rising. 
AT&T Mobility prepares for wave of innovation from LTE, cloud ... 02 Jul 2012

Rajeev Suri
Nokia Siemens Networks
Rajeev Suri, CEO of NSN for three years now, is much of the way through a radical and much needed slimming down of the company. In briefings, Suri says that NSN has the biggest share of future LTE orders. If it’s true, they will start to benefit the company. Late last year he announced that the company would lose 23% of its staff, including in its heartlands of Finland and Germany, and he has been selling off parts of the company that are no longer seen as core — essentially the wireline activities. NSN has also integrated much of the wireless equipment business formerly belonging to Motorola, bought in 2010. 
Interview: Rajeev Suri of Nokia Siemens Networks 18 Feb 2011
China Unicom
Chang Xiaobing
Chang Xiaobing has been chairman and CEO of China Unicom since late 2004, before the government-inspired reconstruction of the Chinese industry. He leads one of China’s three giants — and the only operator of the three to be rolling out industry-standard WCDMA for its 3G. The company has 213 million mobile customers, equivalent to AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless combined. Now the company is planning to expand out of its home market. Telefónica is closer to China Unicom than most overseas companies: the two have shares in each other, though earlier this year the Spanish incumbent has just sold almost half its roughly 10% stake for about $1.4 billion. 
China Unicom looks to the world as home market grows and ... 09 Jul 2012

Ben Verwaayen
Ben Verwaayen has been CEO for four years now, appointed as successor to the post-merger team. Verwaayen knows both sides of the industry, most notably running BT from 2003 to 2008. Financially, times are still hard, and some wonder how long it is before there is an NSN-style slimming down. Verwaayen has tried to keep Alcatel-Lucent active in all sectors of the business, including wireline. There’s a feeling that change is in the air, perhaps encouraged by an awareness that its Bell Labs research arm — home of its extremely clever lightRadio small cell device — could receive a high valuation. 
Interview: Ben Verwaayen of Alcatel-Lucent 01 Jan 2009

Shi Lirong
As executive director and president of ZTE, Shi Lirong heads one of the key makers of telecoms equipment and devices. Under Shi, ZTE has become one of the global top five vendors and is the global leader in many markets. It’s now the fourth largest maker of mobile phones and terminals. Like Huawei — also based in the new city of Shenzhen — it has found it virtually impossible to sell into US-based operators because of political concerns — though it is more public than its Chinese rival as its shares are quoted on two stock exchanges, Shenzhen in China and in the more westernised Hong Kong. 
Interview: Shi Lirong of ZTE 29 Sep 2010

Sunil Bharti Mittal
Bharti Enterprises
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, expanded his Indian mobile operation, Bharti Airtel, into Africa by buying Zain’s African interests, mainly the former Celtel that Zain had acquired in 2005. Bharti’s bill was over $10 billion, but since then he’s moved fast, signing a deal with IBM to take over the new business’s IT operations and rebranding the business, which was Celtel, then Zain and is now Airtel. Outsourcing is a rigorous part of his policy, with virtually all operations contracted to vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei and NSN. The group now operates in 20 countries and has more than 260 million customers, including 186 million in India. 
Bharti buys 49% of Qualcomm's India unit 25 May 2012

For numbers 26-50 click here.
For numbers 51-75 click here.
For numbers 76-100 click here.
Download a PDF, as printed in the September-October issue of Global Telecoms Business, of the complete list from here  (PDF, 4.2 meg)

Have your say
  • All comments are subject to editorial review.
    All fields are compulsory.

Related Articles