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Global Telecoms Business Power 100 for 2013

27 September 2013

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson leads this year's Global Telecoms Business Power100, with Neelie Kroes in second position and Carlos Slim in third

Read more: Power100 Power 100 leadership management CEO CFO

Global Telecoms Business has announced the Power100 for 2013.
AT&T's chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson heads the list this year -- the first person since GTB started the Power100 to achieve top position twice over. He was last at number one in 2010. 
Number two this year is Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, who is trying to end roaming charges across the European Union and to find a way to restructure the industry in Europe. 
The full Power100 is published in the September-October issue of Global Telecoms Business, which is being mailed out to subscribers. The full issue is also available free of charge via our iPad app, which can be downloaded from iTunes on .  

The global economic environment is an unknown quantity. Numerous external influences can dramatically alter the course of businesses. We see civil unrest that alter the direction of countries; technology changes that increase the human lifespan; new biological findings bringing new insights into how we should live.
Business leaders need to take fast courageous decisions to ensure they fulfil the expectations of customers, shareholders and employees — despite all the uncertainty around us.
Scenario planning, in order to predict the next step to greatness or even survival, has become a crucial determinant of our success. In the last 12 months we have seen significant change in our industry — acquisitions that would not necessarily be regarded as natural extensions of a business; very high levels of churn in senior management positions; introduction of new leaders in pivotal roles despite being from outside of the industry.
Each one of these changes is a calculated decision in response to the changes in our environment, and will take our industry forward.
I find the rate of convergence of technology and customer requirements and how they are at odds with traditional business models absolutely amazing.
In the traditional model, the service provider creates value which it initially offers at a premium. But the intense competition in our industry means we need to hold on to the customer at any price, and new technology needs to immediately enable this stickiness at the lowest cost point.
More and more combinations of services and products need to be offered to the customer for free or at cost to maintain the revenue base. Growth needs to come through mergers and acquisitions.
This is a battlefield of mammoth proportions which even the great historic generals of war or the business world would have found difficult to manoeuvre.
So I wish you all success for the coming year. There will be no doubt many winners and some losers. However, I am sure the true beneficiary will be the customers of our great imagination.
Best wishes
Jeff Heenan-Jalil
Vice president and global head
Telecom equipment and media vertical
Wipro Technologies 
The Global Telecoms Business Power100 for 2013                
Randall Stephenson
Since becoming chairman and CEO in 2007, Randall Stephenson has transformed the trajectory of both AT&T and the US telecom industry. His first major decision was to redefine AT&T as a wireless company. That decision, coupled with AT&T’s introduction of the world’s first iPhone, paved the way for the largest, fastest technological wave in generations: the mobile internet.
To accelerate the pace of that revolution, Stephenson opened AT&T’s network to outside developers and established four AT&T Foundry innovation centres. As a result, great ideas become great products in a fraction of the time.
Under his leadership AT&T has undertaken the largest education initiative in its history — AT&T Aspire, a $350-million commitment to improve US high school graduation rates and workforce readiness. Now, the company is spearheading the next major technology shift, investing aggressively to combine superfast LTE networks, expanded IP broadband coverage and the cloud to put the mobile data revolution into overdrive. 
Neelie Kroes
European Commission
Neelie Kroes is vice-president of the European Commission and the nearest the European Union has to a telecoms regulator — in which role she’s now begun a war on several fronts: with Europe’s telecoms operators, which don’t like her idea to abolish intra-EU roaming charges for voice and data; and with the 28 national telecoms regulators in member states, who see their role disappearing.
But European operators also want her, somehow, to reduce the barriers to consolidation. They look enviously at the US market, with four big players, the Chinese, with three, and the Japanese, also with three. Getting to that state in the EU is almost impossible. 
Carlos Slim Helù
América Móvil
Carlos Slim Helù, chairman and CEO of América Móvil, is of the richest people in the world. He is now bidding for control of Europe’s KPN — in which he already owns a substantial stake — and he also has a stake in Telecom Austria Group.
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. 
Lowell McAdam
Lowell McAdam, who took over in August 2011from Ivan Seidenberg as president and CEO of the Verizon Communications group, has achieved something that his predecessor never managed: a deal to buy out Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
That will give an integrated Verizon group the agility to move fast. It’s already the world’s biggest LTE operator and delivers fibre to millions of US homes under the FiOS brand. The company is using LTE to deliver FiOS-like services in remote communities and, without Vodafone in the decision-making chain, will be able to react fast to moves by its US rivals. 
Vittorio Colao
Vittorio Colao is the CEO of Vodafone, the biggest international operator in world, which is in the middle of a huge transformation. A year ago it bought UK fixed operator Cable & Wireless Worldwide; this year it is buying German cable operator Kabel Deutschland. And soon it will have vast sums of money from the sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
Some of that money will go to shareholders, but Vodafone without its 45% of Verizon Wireless is an attractive takeover target. Maybe the Vodafone shareholders will want to sell off the rest of their company to whichever bidder emerges with an attractive offer. Alternatively Colao may be looking at purchases that Vodafone can make in Europe and around the world with Verizon’s cash. 
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. 
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 one 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. 
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.
But Vodafone has been a 45% shareholder in Verizon Wireless for a decade, until this year’s agreement that Verizon will buy 100% control.
That means Mead’s relationship with Verizon’s overall CEO Lowell McAdam is bound to change. How this develops will be seen once the purchase deal goes through shareholder and regulatory approval. 
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.
Telecom Italia has had a tough year: Bernabè’s project to split the company into two, a network operator and a services provider, with the services provider possibly being merged with a rival, has come to a halt. A future role for Telefónica, still a big shareholder in Telecom Italia, is unclear.
Meanwhile Bernabè has helped create a new role for the GSMA, along with director general Anne Bouverot. 
Masayoshi Son
Masayoshi Son is chairman and chief executive of SoftBank, the company he founded in 1981, and which now owns around 80% of Sprint — leading to potentially huge changes in the US market.
SoftBank 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.
The company has a sizeable 3G operation and covers 99% of Japan’s 127 million people 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. 
Hans Vestberg
At the end of 2013 Hans Vestberg will have been CEO of Ericsson for four 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.
The company is now moving heavily into media services, with the recent purchase of Microsoft’s Mediaroom and the planned acquisition of Red Bee Media, adding to the broadcast services division of Technicolor. 
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. Google owns Motorola’s handset business, but that has not resulted in any stunning new products. 
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, and Ren has started to hire a number of prominent and influential westerners as it becomes more of a global power. 
Ralph de la Vega
AT&T Mobility
Innovation is the lifeblood of the telecom industry — and the driving force that’s led to an incredible year for AT&T Mobility president and CEO, Ralph de la Vega.
Under De la Vega’s leadership, AT&T has ushered in a new wave of wireless innovation. In February, AT&T announced an agreement to deliver 4G LTE connectivity to General Motors’ vehicle line-up beginning in 2014. The "connected car" experience envisions the wireless delivery of enhanced safety and infotainment services. AT&T also launched Digital Life, the industry’s first all-digital fully integrated home security and automation service, currently available in 33 US markets. And, through a joint venture, it is currently trialling the Isis Mobile Wallet, a service that offers mobile payments using smartphones.
Finally, De la Vega transformed the AT&T retail experience. AT&T ranked highest among all other full-service wireless providers in J.D. Power’s most recent customer service experience study. In September 2012, AT&T launched its award-winning, 10,000 square-foot flagship store in Chicago, which pushed the boundaries of innovation and design. AT&T is now scaling that vision for its retail stores across the US. 
Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, and the wider industry seems less than impressed with the handset vendor’s progress over the two years since he took over. The iPhone 5, announced in September 2012, has had people queuing for days, and so did its successor a year later — though it won reviews that were less excited than in the past.
Meanwhile a number of operator CEOs, quietly, off the record, are voicing discontent with the way Apple exercises its power.
But it’s Apple, and Apple is and remains one of the most powerful companies in the business. 
Rajeev Suri
Nokia Solutions and Networks
Since becoming the CEO of NSN in 2009, Rajeev Suri reversed the company’s decline and has led the company through a bold transformation to create a more focused, profitable and increasingly financially independent business.
The execution of the company strategy is bearing fruit as the leaner NSN just had its fourth consecutive quarter of strong performance. The focused strategy of NSN has challenged the existing business paradigms in the telecoms infrastructure business.
Suri has consistently demonstrated strong discipline of execution and has earned a reputation as a dynamic and results-oriented leader, who has also kept the success of NSN’s customers as the priority. These are qualities needed to steer the company through its transformation while continuing to create innovative solutions for the global mobile broadband and services market. 
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 $133 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. 
Shi Lirong
Shi Lirong, appointed CEO of ZTE in 2010, has over 20 years of experience in R&D, production, sales and management in the telecom industry giving him a wealth of experience and success that few in the industry can match.
Shi is one of the chief architects behind ZTE’s international drive and globalisation efforts, especially in 4G LTE. ZTE delivers products and services to over 500 operators in more than 160 countries. It is now the world’s fifth largest handset vendor and the fourth largest smartphone vendor.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation has ranked it first for patent applications for two years running, filing 3,906 this year, double that of its closest competitor.
Shi has been behind a series of impressive product launches including the world’s first commercial ground-air FDD-LTE-based broadband network. 
Li Ka-shing
Hutchison Whampoa
Li Ka-shing chairs Hutchison Whampoa as well as Cheung Kong Holdings, a pair of interlinked Hong Kong companies that have businesses in 52 countries, including the Three mobile operators in Europe and Hong Kong itself.
Three was launched at the beginning of the 2000s as 3G contracts were being auctioned across Europe. They still have a relatively low market share (Three UK is the smallest of four operators) but the group shows signs of resurgence: it bought Orange Austria from its private-equity owner and France Telecom; and in June announced plans to buy Telefónica’s O2 Ireland. In the UK, the company is making a determined pitch for machine-to-machine business.
Li’s son Richard Li, known in Chinese as Li Tzar Kai, heads PCCW, the Hong Kong operator. 
Stéphane Richard
Stéphane Richard has been the chairman and CEO of 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. 
Jon Fredrik Baksaas
Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of Norway’s Telenor since 2002, has a power that belies his relatively low profile, especially since the company settled its long dispute with Russia’s VimpelCom and backed a VimpelCom-Orascom merger which makes the new VimpelCom a significant power in many parts of the world. Separately, Telenor has its own international interests, and now lays claim to the status of one of the biggest mobile operators worldwide. This year it became one of the two companies — the other is Ooredoo — to win licences for one of the world’s last greenfield territories, the slowly liberalising country of Myanmar or Burma. 
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, CEO of Etisalat group, leads one of the most successful and fastest growing telecoms companies in emerging markets, with operations in 15 countries and more than 143 million subscribers.
Over the past year, Julfar contributed to the group’s escalating profitability by overseeing the expansion of its digital services unit.
Under his leadership, the UAE’s largest publicly listed company has consolidated revenue for the first half of 2013 of $5.3 billion, 18% higher than last year, and a market capitalisation of around $25 billion. Etisalat also maintained the highest investor ratings of any telecoms company in the six Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
In addition to leading the company through a period of financial success, Julfar has championed the spread of technology and innovation. Etisalat was the first to introduce LTE technology in Middle East initially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE; in the past year, the UAE was named the most fibre-to-the-home connected country in the world. 
Jo Lunder
Jo Lunder is CEO of VimpelCom, the world’s seventh largest mobile operator with 215 million mobile subscribers. Lunder’s strategy continues to drive profitable growth through a combination of focusing on a value agenda to deliver customer and operational excellence, active portfolio management and innovative partnerships.
Under Lunder’s leadership, VimpelCom has moved swiftly to engage with OTT players to enhance its customer offer through pioneering services and new content. Partners include: MasterCard to offer mobile money globally; Google, Microsoft and Nokia to deliver a new, enhanced digital entertainment experience via Google Play and the Windows Phone Store; Wikimedia Foundation, to deliver free Wikipedia access to VimpelCom customers; and Opera Software to offer smart mobile web surfing with Opera Web Pass
Most recently, VimpelCom partnered with Ericsson to launch 4G in Russia, rolling out the country’s first LTE services in Moscow with plans in place to launch in six other Russian regions by the end of the year. The company also joined the United Nations Global Compact, underlining its commitment to the 17 countries where it has operations. 
Eli Gelman
A recognized industry thought leader, CEO Eli Gelman has led Amdocs through consecutive quarters of record revenues in the first three quarters of the fiscal year 2013, despite challenging economic climates worldwide. Continuing to lead global industry innovation in the customer experience systems and services domain, in February 2013 Amdocs launched its CES 9 suite, which redefines service provider operating environments and the customer experience they are able to deliver through real-time integration from the device to the network.
Furthermore, in March 2013 Amdocs established a joint development centre with SingTel to identify, nurture and commercialize innovative startup technologies.
Also under Gelman’s leadership, the company is showing great business momentum in IT services, opening new hubs in Brazil, Israel and the Philippines to address growing demand for its managed services; signing new and strategic managed services agreements, including recently announced deals with Aio Wireless and the Vodafone Group, and delivering some of the largest and fastest transformations the industry has known, including projects at TIM Brasil and Globe in the Philippines. 
Ha Sung-min
SK Telecom
South Korea’s SK industrial group appointed Ha Sung-min as CEO of its telecoms operation, one of the most advanced in the world, in March 2011. With a background in finance and strategy, Ha joined SK Telecom in 1996 and headed its global strategy division in 2004-2007 before going on to run its global management service and its convergence and internet business. Like its smaller rivals, KT and LG Uplus, SK Telecom has already launched LTE services and has now moved on to LTE-Advanced. 
Bhaskar Gorti
Oracle Communications
Bhaskar Gorti is responsible for devising and executing Oracle Communications’strategy to enable communications service providers to deliver and monetise innovative services, reduce business and systems complexity, and provide world-class customer experiences. Building from Oracle’s core strengths in hardware and software engineered to work together across the existing portfolio of leading enterprise, BSS, OSS and SDP solutions, Gorti has led the recent acquisitions of Acme Packet and Tekelec to deliver the same proposition into the network — expanding the portfolio to include session delivery, network signalling (SS7 and Diameter), policy control and subscriber data management.
These acquisitions have sent shockwaves throughout the industry, as Oracle is now uniquely positioned to reengineer the customer experience, cost to serve and quality of service for CSP’s, all underpinned by All-IP networks. In 2013, the TeleManagement Forum awarded Oracle its Industry Leadership Award — the first time any business has won it back to back. 
John Chambers
John Chambers has run Cisco as chairman and CEO for 18 years and the company — though it has a business equipment background — is now one of the biggest telecoms equipment makers, especially since it bought Starent, Tandberg and other companies. Its telepresence system has been adopted widely by telecoms operators, including AT&T and Tata, for holding international video meetings, and it is becoming more and more prominent in the telecoms equipment world. 
Michel Combes
A year ago Michel Combes had just left Vodafone, where he was CEO for Europe, and was set to join Vivendi to look after an expected restructuring of its telecoms business. But then the Vivendi chairman and CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, left the company leaving Combes without a role — but that was solved early this year when Ben Verwaayen suddenly left Alcatel-Lucent. After a short interval, Combes was named as Verwaayen’s successor.
Combes’s career began in 1985 at France Telecom in the US, first in the external networks division and then the industrial and international affairs division. Like most French executives seem to do, he spent time with government, and then became chairman and CEO of the France Telecom subsidiary GlobeCast in 1996. After another interval he became France Telecom’s CFO in 2003, and then as head of strategy he ran the NExt plan, which enabled its transformation into an integrated operator.
At Alcatel-Lucent he is faced with one of the biggest challenges among all telecoms equipment vendors — having to start, several years later, what NSN has already done. 
Gary Smith
Under CEO Gary Smith’s leadership, Ciena continues to drive significant advancements in next-generation network architectures during this time of rapid change in the networking industry.
As the network specialist in a landscape comprised of much broader players, Ciena has built substantial momentum during the last year. Focused on positioning the company for continued growth and market leadership, Smith has led Ciena in delivering strong financial performance in the past year and in securing major clients wins that include BT, Verizon, Comcast and Southern Cross.
After successfully guiding Ciena through a transformative merger with Nortel MEN, Smith remains focused on reinforcing a unique company culture that sets Ciena apart from its competition. The Ciena team is praised for being forward-thinking, fully collaborative and universally focused on driving continued innovation and helping its customers win in the marketplace. 
Lee Suk-Chae
Lee Suk-chae has been president and CEO of South Korean operator KT since January 2009. He is a former civil servant who has served as the minister of information and communication, vice finance minister and president’s economic aide. He holds bachelor's degree in economics from Seoul National University as well as a master’s and a doctorate from Boston University in the US. He has restructured the country’s second largest carrier, launching its LTE network plans in early 2012 with the declaration that he wants it to become the world’s best technology firm. 
Nasser Marafih
Nasser Marafih, group CEO of Ooredoo since 2001, has achieved success in transforming Ooredoo into an international communications company with unmatched expertise in emerging markets.
He has spearheaded the company’s global growth from a one-country operator to a global leader with more than 92 million customers, with more than $9 billion in revenue at the end of 2012, and a presence across south-east Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
Marafih is the architect of the company’s strategy to promote human growth. He led Ooredoo’s acquisition of Wataniya Telecom, the launch of Nawras in Oman, and major investments in Indonesia’s Indosat and Iraq’s Asiacell. In addition, he has positioned Ooredoo as the fastest-growing telecommunications company in the world by revenue since 2006 until the present day.
In 2013, Marafih managed the global launch of the new Ooredoo brand, saw the company increase its stakes in Asiacell and Wataniya, and led efforts to secure one of two licenses in Myanmar against fierce international competition.
Marafih also oversaw the launch of fibre and 4G services in multiple territories and supported a wide range of community projects, including international mobile healthcare clinics in partnership with the Messi Foundation. 
Kwon Oh-Hyun
Samsung Electronics
Kwon Oh-Hyun has been CEO of Samsung Electronics since June 2012, taking over from Choi Gee-sung, who moved into a corporate strategy role. Kwon is essentially a semiconductor engineer — two decades ago he led the development of the industry’s first 64 megabyte digital random-access memory — and today he continues to lead the company’s device solutions division, which includes memory, system large-scale integration and light-emitting diodes.
But Samsung Electronics includes a large telecommunications equipment division which is becoming significant in the LTE era. It has supplied MetroPCS, the first US operator to run an LTE network — now merged with T-Mobile US — and Japan’s KDDI. The company is recognised for its work in self-organising networks, crucial to the development of 4G and beyond. 
Nobuhiro Endo
Nobuhiro Endo was appointed president of NEC three years ago after a period as senior vice president, when his responsibilities included corporate strategy and business development, a period that included NEC’s purchase of US-based OSS company NetCracker — to which, more recently, Convergys’s OSS/BSS operation has been added.
But NEC is also a significant telecoms equipment maker — an area in which Endo is expert. Having joined the company in 1981, he spent the next two decades in the development of wireless communication systems, including mobile phone base stations.
Throughout his career, Endo has focused on driving innovation through advanced technologies for customers worldwide. 
Wang Xiaochu
China Telecom
Wang Xiaochu is chairman CEO of China Telecom, with the challenge of developing the CDMA operations acquired from China Unicom a few years ago and running a fast 3G rollout. But he’s also building up China Telecom into an international wholesale operator — forging relationships with global operators with multinational customers wanting access to China’s still growing industrial sector, and setting up operations in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region. At the same time China Telecom has launched its first MVNO in Europe, working with UK operator EE to aim at Chinese visitors and people of Chinese background. 
Takashi Tanaka
Takashi Tanaka has been president of Japanese operator KDDI since December 2010, after having been a board member — with responsibilities mainly for the consumer business — since 2007. Under his leadership, the company is following a 3M strategy — for multi-use, multi-network and multi-device — and in March 2012, its au brand launched Smart Value and Smart Pass services as the first step in rolling out the company’s Smart Passport Concept. Internationally the company is developing its Telehouse global data centre operation: it owns data centres with that brand in London, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles and is developing one-stop, high-value-added ICT solutions for its customers. 
Süreyya Ciliv
After completing the transformation of Turkcell from a mobile operator to a leading technology and communications company, CEO Süreyya Ciliv has launched the first made-in-Turkey smartphone at the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
His ambition and passion for innovation and technology spreads through the company as he prepares Turkcell for 4G mobile technologies and beyond.
Turkcell, the first and the only Turkish company to be listed on the NYSE, now provides a large variety of mobile services, produces its own mobile telephone and delivers fixed fibre internet to half a million customers despite the global economic crisis and legal challenges in a highly competitive market.
Ciliv’s efforts not only keep Turkcell as the market leader in the Turkish mobile market but also makes Turkcell a leading communications company in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Northern Cyprus and Moldova. The Turkcell group has reached to 70 million customers during Ciliv’s leadership. 
Sifiso Dabengwa
Zimbabwean-born Sifiso Dabengwa has been CEO of South African-based operator MTN since 2011, having previously been COO. He has been with the company since 1999 and ran its Nigerian operation in 2004-06. MTN is a wide-ranging company, with operations across Africa and in the Middle East — including, controversially, Iran. He has an engineering background, having worked as a consulting electrical engineer in the building services industry and in the mining and railway sectors before joining South Africa’s state electricity company Eskom as executive director responsible for sales, customer service, electrification and distribution technology. 
Hannes Ametsreiter
Telekom Austria Group
Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of the Telekom Austria Group, counts among the top leaders of the new generation of top-level executives in Austria. Despite ongoing economic and regulatory challenges he has consequently and ambitiously pursued the Group’s strategy and has actively responded to a difficult framework in all eight operating markets.
By offering added value through quality, by pursuing the convergence strategy, by conducting strict cost control, the group is on track with operational success. This is reflected by numerous achievements, such as an increase in customers and fixed line access across the group and by an increase in both net profit and operating result. Under Ametsreiter’s leadership, numerous launches, partnerships and strategic commitments have helped to counteract rough conditions and to improve operational and financial success. 
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. Now the company is owned by Japanese operator SoftBank, which is planning to invest heavily in LTE, which will transform the company. 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. 
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon has led Syniverse as CEO since 2011 with a focus on globalising the business and strengthening its leading position at the heart of the mobile ecosystem. In 2013, Gordon led Syniverse to complete the €550 million acquisition of MACH. The combined company now serves over 1,500 customers in nearly 200 countries and territories. Through the acquisition, Syniverse has added 400 new enterprise customers and now has more than 2,500 employees in over 30 countries.
Via Gordon’s vision, the company has been able to turn the immense volume of information traversing its networks into actionable insights for its customers to better deliver personalized end-user experiences. Syniverse now has more than 100 real-time intelligence customers and continues to innovate in this space as it delivers mobile experience-centric use cases.
Jeff has been instrumental in propelling the industry toward LTE. The company leads the way with nearly 100 mobile operators relying on its IPX network, which serves as the backbone to LTE interoperability. As operators around the globe move to LTE, Syniverse plays a critical role, maintaining active engagement in LTE roaming trials and implementations for its customers. 
Steve Collar
O3b Networks
Steve Collar’s strong and energetic leadership as CEO of O3b has seen a successful deployment of a revolutionary new constellation that combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fibre, bringing high speed, low cost, life changing connectivity to billions of people.
After more than six years of meticulous designing, planning, testing and retesting, O3b’s first four satellites roared skyward aboard the Arianespace Soyuz launch vehicle in June. For Collar it was a proud moment. O3b begins commercial operations later this year with a customer portfolio and revenue backlog that much more established satellite operators might envy. Flagship customers include Telecom Cooks Islands in the Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises, oil and gas company Amrtur and mobile service provider Maja Nusa in Malaysia. Each of these accounts and more represent a demand to accelerate economic and sustainable growth in sectors and markets that are underserved in terms of fast internet and mobile connectivity. 
Hasnul Suhaimi
XL Axiata
Appointed as president director of XL in 2006, Hasnul Suhaimi has previously held various directorship positions in leading telco companies in Indonesia. In the past, XL was known as premium operator with quality voice, and middle range subscribers as the target market. However, consumers started to feel restless about the expensive tariff.
At the time, XL was ranked the third biggest operator in Indonesia. Under Suhaimi’s leadership, XL made revolutionary changes that reshaped the industry. In 2007, XL voice cut rates and built new capacity. By early 2010, XL had become the second largest operator in Indonesia, which also brought radical changes to telco industries in the country, from one of the highest tariff to be the most affordable in the world. 
Hakam Kanafani
Türk Telekom
Hakam Kanafani is the CEO of Türk Telekom group and a member of board of directors. The group, a privatized fixed incumbent, has secured 44% total revenue share of the Turkish telecom market with a 70% increase in the stock price since 2010.
Kanafani widely contributed to the market’s digital transformation through his vision that communication services and broadband internet are converging with information technology. Under Kanafani’s leadership, the Türk Telekom group grew the fibre internet market by 67% in the past year.
Internationally, Kanafani is working with his colleagues on creating a new, sustainable internet commercial model that will be fair and profitable for both the internet players and the operators.
After graduation, he joined Nasa’s IT team and later held the positions of Oger Telecom’s chief business development and synergy officer and Jawwal Palestine’s CEO. 
Kaoru Kato
Kaoru Kato became president and CEO of Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo in June 2012 after 35 years with company and its parent, NTT. In the 1980s he helped to develop NTT’s first mobile phone. More recently he has been an executive vice president of NTT DoCoMo since 2008 and was instrumental in devising DoCoMo’s medium-term business plans. Earlier he was a director of Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, in which NTT DoCoMo acquired a 34% share in 2005 in order to develop mobile payment services. 
Vinod Kumar
Tata Communications
Under the leadership of Vinod Kumar, managing director and group CEO, Tata Communications has demonstrated double digit year-on-year growth in a competitive climate. The company continues to be a game changer by enabling global connectivity and driving collaboration — a collaborative approach, led by Kumar, to innovate through rapid and alert incremental steps along the way.
The company now operates the world’s largest and only fibre-optic cable ring around the globe and is the only global tier-one internet service provider with a top five position in all continents.
Not only is Kumar the driving force of progressive innovation from within, he also recognises the importance of external collaboration which led to the formation of the Networked Enterprise Institute, an exclusive forum for CEOs to share experiences, gain inputs on models that are working and take a hard look at the role of the new CEO as we move forward in rapidly changing digital times.
Under Kumar’s leadership Tata Communications spearheaded the launch of the Global Meeting Alliance, an open ecosystem of leading telecom providers — a major step towards making an open community for business video a reality.
The company’s collaboration ethos also stretches to its managed services portfolio, the company recently launched Jamvee, an on demand unified communication service which enables anyone, anywhere, to instantly access a business video meeting on any device and platform. 
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. 
Anne Bouverot
In the last year, GSM Association director general Anne Bouverot has focused on increasing the seniority of the GSMA board and working with the board to align the GSMA around a handful of key strategic initiatives — spectrum, connected living, mobile commerce, future communications, network APIs and mobile identity — undertaken for the collective benefit of the mobile industry.
As Bouverot has streamlined and accelerated the programmes the GSMA undertakes on behalf of its members, she has also expanded the global advocacy role of the GSMA. Historically a Eurocentric organisation, the GSMA now has regional operations around the world to support members. With offices in Brazil, Chile, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Kenya and the US, the GSMA works with members, government and adjacent industries to deliver the socio-economic benefits of mobile to billions of citizens.
Another priority for Bouverot is increasing the diversity of the traditionally male-dominated mobile industry. She has been a champion of the GSMA’s Connected Women programme, which is designed to attract women to careers in mobile and in tech generally. Connected Women conducts a series of events across the year and provides networking and mentoring for this community. 
René Obermann
Deutsche Telekom
René Obermann has been CEO of Deutsche Telekom since November 2006, but is leaving at the end of the year — a decision he announced in December 2012. He will be replaced by Timotheus Höttges. Obermann announced in May that he was joining Netherlands cable firm Ziggo, a move that was completely unexpected — especially as Ziggo, like other European cable operators, are being seen as targets for either Liberty Global, which already has a stake, or Vodafone, which has bought Germany’s Kabel Deutschland.
Obermann 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. 
Eelco Blok
Eelco Blok became CEO of KPN in April 2011, since when the company has had something of a turbulent story. The interim CFO said in January that the company was open to serious bids, since when América Móvil listened and bought 27.7%. Now América Móvil wants the whole company.
Meanwhile the company decided not to sell its Belgian mobile unit but is selling the German operator, E-Plus, to Telefónica. It earlier sold its French MVNO business Simyo to Bouygues.
Blok has been a member of KPN’s senior management since April 2004, responsible for a number of divisions, including international mobile — the divisions which have been apparently up for sale — and iBasis, the wholesale unit. 
Jeff Heenan-Jalil
Jeff Heenan-Jalil is vice president and global head of Wipro’s telecom equipment vendor business unit, was given additional responsibility of the company’s media unit this year in line with strategy to create networks of the future and digital highways. This merger is in line with the unit’s strategy to use the synergies to enhance customer experience of media consumption over both wired and wireless networks.
In his new role, Heenan-Jalil is working on building solutions that integrate media requirements and expectations for future networks and solutions for media organisations to use the digital highways effectively. Heenan-Jalil firmly believes that innovation across the digital value chain is critical for the growth of the telecoms and media industry. His focus on future technologies has established Wipro as the number one global R&D service provider. Heenan-Jalil continues to transform Wipro’s telecoms and media businesses with his vision of creating an environment to foster innovation that will deliver next-generation media services powered by a solid foundation of next-generation networks. 
Ajay Chitkara
Bharti Airtel
As CEO of global business at Bharti Airtel, Ajay Chitkara has transformed and executed the expansion and profitability of the data and voice business.
In this role he has demonstrated strong leadership in growing the business consistently .His endeavours in the business resulted in India becoming an important transit services hub of data and voice business in the region with Airtel as a leader in this space. Chitkara has spearheaded Airtel’s growth strategy in expanding the international infrastructure and service portfolio including submarine assets and global footprint, thus transforming Airtel into a trusted and formidable brand in the global business-to-business market. 
Kris Rinne
AT&T Labs
Deploying mobile broadband technologies such as HSPA+ and LTE, Kris Rinne has been an invaluable leader in the wireless industry throughout her 30-plus-year career with AT&T. She is now senior vice president of network technology at AT&T Labs
In 2012, AT&T laid out plans to expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks as part of a three-year, multi-billion dollar investment called Project Velocity IP. Aligning with this plan, Rinne leads the wide-scale rollout of AT&T’s 4G LTE network, growing its reach from 170 million people at year-end 2012 to more than 225 million to date.
Rinne continues to improve network quality and strengthen existing coverage areas through technologies like small cells, which provided nearly 100% usable coverage in trial deployments, and distributed antennae systems, which were deployed in nearly 850 locations in 2012.
To further enhance the mobile experience, Rinne oversees the deployment of LTE-advanced features, such as self-optimising network technology and soon-to-rollout carrier aggregation, and plans to deploy additional network enhancements such as voice over LTE. 
Shameel Joosub
Vodacom is the sub-Saharan African operator based in South Africa and essentially controlled by Vodafone. Mohamed Shameel Joosub has been CEO of the group only since September 2012, having returned to the group after spending the previous year running Vodafone Spain. An accountant, he was earlier managing director of Vodacom South Africa and joined the company in 1994 when it was a joint venture, now dissolved, with the incumbent operator Telkom. Like its rival South African operator MTN, Vodacom is an active operator across Africa but appears to be gradually being absorbed into the Vodafone group — even taking on its logo and red colouring. 
Enrique Blanco
Enrique Blanco is the global CTO at Telefónica, making him at the IT head of one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world.
Blanco was named global CTO in September 2011 after being at Telefónica for 26 years. His vision was clear — to centrally manage the company’s network operations and IT infrastructure across its 24 countries. A bold initiative for any telecom IT team, but Blanco took it a step further — he was aiming to implement this initiative to create a better customer experience, recognizing the strategic potential of IT in how Telefónica serves its customers.
A major part of this global transformation is underway. In April 2013, Telefónica announced it would deploy a mobile workforce management solution to all countries, creating a single view of its global field operations. This project will result in a consistent experience for all customers, increase workforce productivity and help Telefónica better manage the quality of how prepared and timely its technicians are for appointments.
Taking the same global and customer-centric approach for other components of the initiative, Blanco is setting a new standard for IT’s role in telecommunications and is leading the industry in its shift to being more customer-focused through IT. 
Chua Sock Koong
Singapore Telecom
Chua Sock Koong has been group CEO of SingTel since April 2007, having previously been deputy group CEO and CFO. She oversees SingTel’s three key businesses, Australia, where the company owns Optus; Singapore, the home country; and SingTel’s international operations. She has steered the company in rolling out its LTE mobile broadband service in Singapore and in launching PowerON Compute, a hybrid cloud computing service, in Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. Chua has worked at SingTel since she became treasurer in 1989. She’s been on the board of Bharti Airtel, the Indian mobile operator in which SingTel has a stake, since 2001. 
Stephen Elop
Stephen Elop was the controversial CEO of Nokia who switched the company from its existing operating systems to Windows and has now sold the whole handset business to Microsoft, for which he used to work. He’s widely tipped as likely to take over from Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. Who knows? 
John Legere
T-Mobile USA
Deutsche Telekom appointed John Legere to be CEO of T-Mobile US a year ago, just before it merged with MetroPCS. Legere was CEO of Global Crossing until its takeover by Level 3 in 2011. Before that he worked with Microsoft, AT&T and Dell, but does not appear to have any direct mobile operational experience. However at Global Crossing he was an outstanding dealmaker — and Deutsche Telekom, having been denied the opportunity to sell T-Mobile USA to AT&T in late 2011, brought him in to create new alliances. 
Bob Sell
Bob Sell is group chief executive of Accenture’s communications, media and technology group, which provides management consulting, technology and outsourcing services to the communications, electronics, high technology, media, and entertainment industries representing some $5.9 billion to Accenture fiscal year-end 2012.
The challenge for these companies is connecting with customers in today’s complex new digital ecosystem in order to monetise data and content; and to deliver distinctive sales, service and channel management. Additionally, they face the daunting task of optimising their operating model and reducing costs, while improving organisational agility and overall effectiveness.
Under Sell’s leadership, Accenture is helping these clients leverage innovation to enhance their business results through industry-specific services and by seizing opportunities made possible by the convergence of communications, computing and content. 
Andrei Dubovskov
Andrei Dubovskov was appointed president and CEO of the MTS group in March 2011. Before this he served as the head of MTS Ukraine since 2008. Dubovskov has almost 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry. Under his leadership, MTS refocused its commercial policies and marketing activities on increasing customer loyalty and reducing costs of subscriber additions. MTS has migrated half of its subscriber base to the tariff plans with free on-net calling and is actively promoting data bundles. MTS is rolling out 3G networks and 4G networks across Russia and has commercially launched TDD LTE network in Moscow. 
Glen Post
With a career that spans more than 30 years, Glen Post is CEO and president of CenturyLink. In under 10 years, he has grown CenturyLink from the eighth to the third largest telecommunications company in the US. The 2009 acquisition of Embarq more than tripled the company’s revenues and customer base and the 2011 acquisition of Qwest again more than doubled CenturyLink’s size. Post oversaw the July 2011 acquisition of Savvis, transforming CenturyLink into a global leader in enterprise cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions. 
Jamaludin Ibrahim
Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim is president and group chief executive officer of Axiata group, which he joined in March 2008, and a board member of the group. He has worked for about 32 years in the ICT industry — 16 years in IT and 16 in telecommunications. At the helm of Axiata over the last five years, Ibrahim grew the business substantially; expanding its customer base by over 400%, charting over 75% growth in revenue and more than doubled profits for the group. 
Gareth Williams
Gareth Williams has continued to drive the growth of Interoute into a leading enterprise cloud infrastructure and ICT service provider while staying true to the company’s wholesale roots. In 2012 the company’s enterprise revenues grew to become 60% of its total revenues for the first time in its history.
Williams created an agile business unit to develop and launch the company’s IaaS platform, Interoute Virtual Data Centre and enterprise application CloudStore which are at the forefront of cloud infrastructure innovation. 
Ahmed Mekky
Ahmed Mekky is board member and CEO of GBI, which has announced the launch of its north route through Iraq and Turkey, reducing latency times for connectivity from the Gulf and Asia to Europe. Today, GBI offers connectivity from Europe to all of the Gulf countries via the traditional submarine route — through the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Red Sea — and terrestrially via Turkey and Iraq.
GBI’s route through Iraq represents a major milestone for both regional and international communications. This project is a monumental achievement that is the first and so far only one of its kind. In addition, the once war-torn Iraq is now emerging as a modern communications hub, with significant implications for the nation’s economy and long-term development.
Outside of GBI, Ahmed Mekky co-chairs the Samena subsea working group, and is a member of the board of governors of the Pacific Telecommunications Council, making him the first and only member to represent a company from the Middle East. In Egypt, Mekky sits on the board of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency, which is the executive IT arm of the ministry of communications and information technology. 
Olaf Swantee
In the past 12 months Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, formerly Everything Everywhere, has overseen a monumental change in the UK, driving the launch of a new company, a new network and a new brand. But it was his vision and determination that preceded this launch that were his biggest achievements of the past year.
The UK telecoms sector was lagging as networks worldwide rolled out 4G. Britain’s mobile sector, regulators and government seemed unable, or unwilling, to drive forward the next-generation technology.
Swantee saw the opportunity to set a new standard for UK networks. While preparing EE’s network for 4G, he simultaneously launched a powerful campaign making government, regulators and, most importantly, businesses and consumers aware that 4G was a necessity if the UK economy was to compete with overseas industry.
EE has delivered one of the fastest ever 4G rollouts, with 60% of the UK population covered. With almost one million 4G customers in 10 months, adoption rates are among the fastest in the world. Numbers in the UK will now only increase as more networks have launched ahead of schedule thanks largely to Swantee’s drive to put Britain back on the world stage for mobile connectivity. 
Chris Wood
Over the last 12 months, WIOCC CEO Chris Wood has masterminded impressive growth at the award-winning capacity wholesaler in an increasingly competitive African marketplace — revenues up 40% and profits up more than 100% — and is now pioneering international submarine cable connectivity to Somalia.
Wood’s vision for improving the reach, quality and affordability of Africa’s international connectivity includes strategic investments, key partnerships, technical excellence and an absolute commitment to customer service.
His drive has established WIOCC as the number one supplier of diversity-rich, high-capacity, end-to-end managed circuits into and out of Africa, with a unique network that seamlessly links more than 40,000 kilometres of submarine cable to 50,000 kilometres of terrestrial fibre, providing carriers with tailored connectivity solutions to over 400 locations across 30 African countries, and more than 700 cities in 70 countries globally.
As chairman of the EASSy Management Committee, Wood is also leading implementation of the first international submarine cable connectivity to Somalia via the EASSy submarine cable and its new landing station in Mogadishu. 
Ernest Cu
Globe Telecom
Ernest Cu has been CEO of Globe Telecom since 2009. It is a challenger in the Philippines telecoms market, he says. It’s a big market, with a population of over 100 million people, and Globe is second only to PLDT in market share, with 37-38% of an estimated 80 million mobile phones. The Philippines is the world’s biggest Facebook market as a percentage of users and for a long time it had the highest rate of texting in the world, handling two billion SMS messages a day. Cu is leading Globe to build a new network, using Huawei and Amdocs as the main vendors, with a single radio access network that will give the company a route to LTE. 
Thomas Fallon
Thomas Fallon is CEO of optical networking system-maker Infinera, and the driving force behind the company’s vision to build the world’s most innovative network solutions.
Fallon has overseen a number of Infinera’s key achievements. In the last year alone, Infinera has secured a Guinness World Record for the fastest rate of provisioning multi-terabit optical capacity on Géant, Europe’s largest research and education network. This was carried out over Infinera’s DTN-X platform, which the company believes to be the world’s first and only 500 gigabits a second super-channel technology.
Infinera has reached the number one position in the global long-haul optical networking market. In addition, its photonic-integrated circuit technology has disrupted the market, taking the share from traditional system-makers and boosting network capacity for tier one carriers worldwide. PIC technology has now exceeded one billion hours of failure-free operation.
In the last year, Infinera announced 12 new customers worldwide, including tier one carriers, content providers, research bodies and submarine cable operators. 
Rakesh Bhasin
As CEO Rakesh Bhasin has led an ambitious programme to transform Colt Technology Services into a new breed of service provider — the information delivery platform. Colt brings together world-class data-centres, integrated networking and computing assets, outstanding solutions and service levels supported by exceptional people who understand their customers and the markets they work in. Led by Bhasin, the seamless integration of these assets makes Colt more than a data centre provider or a cloud company, enabling it to deliver solutions which are simple to buy, easy to use and manage and that make a real difference to its customers.
Despite a challenging economic climate, under Bhasin’s leadership, Colt continues its transformation. Growth in key strategic areas is occurring in managed networking and IT services and data centre related revenue. Bhasin’s consistent strategy has seen Colt win recognition in the market. 
Hamadoun Touré
Hamadoun Touré is approaching the final year of his eight-year term as secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency. But he’s by no means a spent force. By combining an address book that reads like a global Who’s Who spanning industry, government, international organisations and academia with a highly collaborative personal style, Touré might just be the best-connected — and most respected — ICT leader worldwide. His commitment to pushing multi-stakeholder dialogue on key issues like cybersecurity and internet is looking increasingly credible in the wake of ongoing revelations in the sphere of net privacy. 
Glenn Lurie
AT&T Mobility
Glenn Lurie is all about making the right connections—especially the wireless kind. As president of emerging enterprises and partnerships organization at AT&T Mobility, Lurie is responsible for launching new lines of business including AT&T’s efforts to deliver wireless connectivity and innovation to your home, car and more.
Lurie is the lead architect for AT&T Digital Life, an all-digital security and automation wireless platform for the home. Digital Life is currently available in 39 US markets, with plans to introduce the service in up to 50 by the end of 2013.
In 2013, Lurie and his team announced that OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, will use AT&T to deliver 4G LTE connectivity for an enhanced suite of safety, security, diagnostic and infotainment services to millions of GM cars, trucks and crossovers beginning in 2014. 
Scott Gegenheimer
Scott Gegenheimer was designated the pivotal role of group CEO of Zain in December 2012, undertaking the riveting challenge of further enhancing Zain’s success story across all its eight country operations that currently serve over 44.4 million customers. Nine months down the track, he has articulated the company’s focus on data revenue growth, improving customer experience, operational excellence and synergies, human resources as well as new business areas, targeting data related strategic partnerships and acquisitions.
He is also heavily involved in the IPO process of two upcoming listings for Zain mobile operating companies in both Bahrain and Iraq — as well overseeing the implementation of the company’s non-equity marketing partnership with Vodafone across many of its key operations.
Gegenheimer came to Zain with an impressive 24-year track record in various senior management and leadership positions across several regional telecom operators, as well as with technology heavyweights Cisco Systems and Motorola. 
José Gutiérrez
Drawing on over 22 years of global industry experience, José Gutiérrez, president of AT&T’s wholesale solutions unit, leads the strategy for becoming a globally integrated wholesale organisation. In this role, Gutiérrez is driving the organization’s evolution spanning technology, operations and culture. He is responsible for executing change to enable growth, productivity and innovation to meet commitments to the company and its customers.
In his first year, Gutiérrez used his knowledge and insight in combining the wholesale solutions department with the domestic and international access management organization to better serve AT&T’s business relationships. This new business model allows AT&T to understand practices and processes both as a seller of services and as a buyer from other carriers to support wholesale customers at a holistic level.
With a dedication to improving the effectiveness of the organization at all levels and enhancing the customer experience, Gutiérrez bolsters a passion for developing strong relationships with carriers worldwide. To that end, he now has more than 600 professionals deployed around the world. 
Nic Rudnick
Liquid Telecom
Nic Rudnick is CEO and founder of the Liquid Telecom group, which has continued to grow, innovate and change the face of telecoms in southern, central and eastern Africa under his leadership.
A host of acquisitions and new builds in Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and Kenya in 2013 — combined with the development of award-winning new technologies — means Liquid Telecom now operates Africa’s largest single fibre network spanning over 13,000 kilometres. In total, 17 African countries are connected by fibre — many for the first time — with Liquid’s South Africa-Zimbabwe link the busiest cross-border link in southern Africa.
To bring fibre into inland Africa Rudnick has worked tirelessly for years to navigate the multitude of legal, political, logistical and geographical barriers.
Rudnick has also ensured that Liquid has built an open access network available to any licensed telecoms company. He has always been determined to avoid the closed network mistakes of the past.
Rudnick has transformed the telecoms market in Africa and his influence, drive and ability to get things done continues to increase connectivity within Africa. 
Paul Jacobs
Paul Jacobs is chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm and for more than two decades he has been a key architect of Qualcomm’s strategic vision and a mobile communications trailblazer.
This past year, Jacobs introduced the newest addition to the Qualcomm Snapdragon family of mobile processors, Snapdragon 800, which offers unmatched user experiences and power efficiency.
Jacobs and Qualcomm created a comprehensive system-level solution, RF360, to solve the biggest obstacle in designing today’s global LTE devices: band fragmentation. The device radically simplifies the radio frequency front end, making it possible to create one truly global design that enables global LTE roaming, uses less power for longer battery life, reduces development time and costs, while delivering superior radio performance.
Jacobs lobbied this year for additional solutions to address the spectrum crunch and astounding thousandfold increase in data demand over the next several years caused by the surge in mobile-device ownership. 
Kevin Johnson
Since taking over as Juniper CEO in September 2008, Kevin Johnson has transformed Juniper into a diversified power player, doubling R&D and achieving significant business wins. Under his leadership, revenue increased 24% with growing market share in enterprise and service provider sectors. Johnson and his team are focused on changing the experience and economics of networking through an ecosystem of innovation. 
Keith Willetts
TM Forum
Keith Willetts is the founder and chairman of the TM Forum, the world’s largest global trade association focused on bringing together the digital ecosystem with over 900 member companies worldwide. Recently returned as CEO to steer the forum’s work with a communications industry grappling with the disruption that the digital economy is bringing while at the same time helping exploit the massive opportunities presented by digital and cloud services.
His recent book, Unzipping the Digital World, laid out a blueprint for this success and the forum’s relevance on business issues, business agility and effectiveness has never been more important in this rapidly evolving industry.
His influence in the market is significant: as a regular writer and presenter to an influential, senior executive audience around the world and via the forum with its major impact on the industry’s direction by continuously informing, encouraging innovation, accelerating time-to-market, and the optimisation of service providers business decisions and operations while providing a neutral and open platform for collaboration across the digital ecosystem. 
Luis Alvarez
BT Global Services
Luis Alvarez is soon to celebrate his first anniversary as chief executive of BT Global Services, a global leader in managed networked IT services. Appointed to the role in October 2012, Alvarez has continued to transform this key line of business.
Responsible for running the £7 billion business which provides services to around 7,000 large corporate and public sector customers in over 170 countries worldwide, including 94% of the FTSE 100 and 74% of the Fortune 500, Alvarez has consolidated BT Global Services’ position as a leader — and this has been recognised by industry and customers alike.
Notable successes include important contract wins with some of the world’s largest multinationals including Unilever, Clarins and BMW.
BT Global Services continues to invest to support its customers and improve services resulting in an order intake of £6.3 billion. Double-digit revenue growth was seen in the high-growth regions of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa. 
David Walsh
David Walsh has been at the forefront of IP communications technologies and solutions since building one of the first global industry IP extranets connecting thousands of the world’s largest banks in the late 1990s. That business, IXnet, was acquired by Global Crossing in 2000 for $3.75 billion.
After leaving Global Crossing, he joined One Equity Partners, the private investment arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and continues to build a portfolio of technology companies including Genband.
Earlier this year, Walsh took on the role of CEO at Genband, while remaining its chairman, in order to continue positioning the company as a market leader in multimedia, unified communications and network security solutions. Under Walsh’s leadership Genband is rapidly growing in profitability and reinvesting record profits into further development of cloud, mobility and OTT vertical industry applications.
He continues to serve as chairman of Netas, the largest systems integrator in Turkey and the surrounding region, and was recently named chairman of a new company, Aligned Energy, which includes a growing portfolio of companies working in the data center resource efficiency industry. 
David Storrie
Nucleus Connect
Singapore’s next generation nationwide broadband network, the world’s first open access all-fibre network, has gained recognition as a NGN leader and trend-setter in the last few years. Under the leadership of its CEO, David Storrie, the NBN’s appointed operating company, Nucleus Connect, has grown its clientele from five key retail service providers since its commercial launch in Aug 2010, to 24 providers now.
Nucleus Connect, together with its service providers, has contributed significantly to the deployment of large-scale government projects, connecting government organisations, schools, town councils, community centres, libraries and more, provisioning the network platform for government applications and services to move towards digital convergence.
For the first time in Singapore, consumer end-users got to enjoy a range of revolutionary broadband products with symmetrical bandwidth services in excess of 200 megabits a second, at affordable prices — powered by Nucleus Connect. Storrie has been influential in bringing about the transitory impact that the NBN has on the communications future of the city-state. 
Sanjiv Ahuja
Sanjiv Ahuja is a globally recognized visionary in telecommunications industry. His early career progression has spanned from executive positions in various technology companies including IBM to making rapid rise within Orange — one of the largest telecommunications operator in Europe — culminating in being CEO of the company from 2004 to 2007. Ahuja then set out to solve one of the biggest challenges facing the wireless telecommunications industry — that of network capacity in a spectrum-constrained regulatory environment. He partnered with Harbinger Capital Partners to create Lightsquared with a vision to develop wholesale-only US-based nationwide 4G LTE wireless broadband network.
Lightsquared’s regulatory issues prompted Ahuja to change gears and solve the problem of network capacity by introducing LTE-based microcell service in dense urban areas. Ahuja founded Way4orth in 2012 to realize this vision. As of today, Way4orth is in various stages of discussions with many large wireless operators to offer full-turnkey microcell service in dense metro areas in both US and Western Europe. 
Abdulmalek Al-Jaber
Mena Apps
Over the past year, Abdulmalek Al-Jaber has successfully contributed to the development of the online economy in the Middle East and North Africa. Over the past year, he developed the first pan-Arab entrepreneurship eco-system that supports entrepreneurs in the e-economy with all the resources required to flourish and succeed.
With his company, Mena Apps and a new, expanded initiative called Arabreneur he is providing internet start-ups across the region with the mentorship, connections, office space, funding and an international network to become major players in fields such as e-commerce, cloud computing and digital media.
As MENA internet usage is growing faster than any other region, Jaber is solving major gaps for a successful e-economy. The most important is the deployment of the first regional online payment platform, through his company Middle East Payment Services, which will change the e-commerce and access to advanced digital media by allowing for paid content to these businesses.
Jaber has invested in over 16 startups in the digital media space, including, a social entertainment portal that after one year has more than two million monthly visitors. Combined, these 16 investments have resulted in an increase of their fair-value of over 300% and created more than 150 jobs. 
Matthew Key
Telefónica Digital
Matthew Key is the CEO of Telefónica Digital, the global innovation unit of Telefónica. Formed in September 2011 to lead Telefónica’s transformation to becoming a digital telecoms operator, the unit is gaining significant traction.
This includes winning the largest ever M2M deal with a £1.5 billion smart meter deal in the UK, the commercial launch of the first Firefox OS devices in Europe and Latin America, global partnerships with leading internet players including Google, Facebook and Evernote, the launch of the innovative TU Go product in the UK, creation of pioneering mobile commerce joint ventures in the UK and Spain and much more.
Telefónica Digital continues to be the benchmark for the industry in leveraging the opportunities offered by digital technologies. Before this, Key was the CEO of Telefónica Europe and before that Telefónica UK, where, among other achievements, he was responsible for securing the iPhone exclusive for the UK. 
Ray Anderson
Bango’s CEO Ray Anderson has manoeuvred his company into a strategically vital position within the global telecoms industry. As the app economy grows, global operators are finding themselves in the position of watching all that bandwidth-heavy commerce flow across their networks, while they see little benefit. The result is that many operators are racing to adopt operator billing, providing consumers with a charge-to-bill option inside app stores, and securing a slice of the revenue from these transactions.
Bango has emerged as the defacto standard for operator billing inside app stores, powering operator billing for Google Play, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Facebook and others, and now with live, direct connections into the billing systems of 117 of the world’s major operators. This reach, to in excess of one billion consumers, has more than doubled over the last 12 months.
Anderson is the visionary behind this success. He recognised the coming power of the app store back in 2007, and since then has transformed Bango’s business from a developer focused service to a business that’s laser-focused on connecting operators into the small group of dominant app stores. The result is a frictionless payment experience for the consumer and a vital new revenue stream for MNOs. 
Michael Tsamaz
Amidst an unprecedented financial crisis in Greece Michael Tsamaz, chairman and CEO of OTE, implemented successfully a multilayered restructuring plan achieving the transformation of the former Greek telecoms state monopoly into a modern, competitive and sustainable business leader in SE Europe.
Steering OTE through some of Europe’s most volatile environments — Greece, Romania, Albania and Bulgaria — he led one of the most ambitious debt reduction plans, resulting in cutting down the group’s net debt by 50% since 2010. Under his leadership OTE was the first major Greek company to return to the international financial markets and secure the refinancing of its debt by issuing a €700 million bond.
A turnaround manager, investing on maverick talent turned its mobile arm Cosmote into one of the best performing mobile carriers in Europe and into one of the most profitable companies within the Deutsche Telekom group.
His transformational leadership and technological acumen have ensured OTE’s sustainability for three consecutive years, as well as Cosmote’s undisputable dominance in the mobile sector for six years now. 
Matt Carter
Matt Carter has led a transformation for Sprint’s emerging and wholesale solutions business unit at Sprint, growing revenue to $2 billion in 2012. The group does business with more than 780 companies in 165 countries. During the past 12 months, Sprint launched its award-winning Sprint Velocity solution, which enables automakers to develop and market in-vehicle connected services such as infotainment, remote wifi and security applications. Sprint Velocity supports Chrysler’s innovative Uconnect Access capability.
Carter’s group also launched a series of enablement products that equip anyone from enterprises to entrepreneurs to become a mobile virtual network operator, leading to the launch of 29 new MVNOs since July 2012, including Assist Wireless and FreedomPop. Sprint serves more than 100 MVNOs in the US and across the world. 
Nan Chen
Metro Ethernet Forum
Nan Chen is known in the telecom/networking industry as the founding president of the MEF, which has materially shaped the industry by establishing carrier ethernet as the predominant technology and service for businesses, homes, mobile infrastructure, and for next generation networking for the internet.
Under his leadership the MEF has grown to over 216 members, and has become one of the major success stories in the new internet age, from the definition of more than 20 industry standards to the historic definition of carrier ethernet and eminent certification programs (1000+ certificates) giving carrier ethernet a stamp of approval.
Chen’s drive to unite standardisation and certification with dynamic, global campaigns and strategic initiatives, helped make carrier ethernet one of the fastest growing areas in telecoms. In the past 12 months, he has overseen the launch of carrier ethernet 2.0, formed an alliance with the Cloud Ethernet Forum and launched the MEF’s service operations committee, which will revolutionise wholesale ethernet access across service providers. 
Bill Pereira
IDT Telecom
Bill Pereira has been the CEO, president and co-chairman of IDT Telecom since October 2011, after serving two years as CFO. An enigmatic and trusted leader with unquestionable integrity, adept at managing relationships and inspiring confidence, Pereira is widely respected across industry for transforming business and driving growth through innovation. In the last 12 months, he has continued to drive the growth of IDT’s core voice business and steer diversification into new areas, such as financial services. IDT has had 13 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and its voice minutes continue to outstrip market growth.
Under his leadership, IDT now terminate over 33 billion minutes a year and has formed key relationships with all the world’s major carriers. Voice growth has also come from exploring new partnerships in satellite, government and maritime markets.
In the last 12 months, IDT has seen its payment service revenue grow by over 30% year-on-year and now accounts for over 13% of revenue, driven by growing international mobile top up services and the recent launch of bill payment services to Latin America. On his watch, IDT has transformed itself into one of the world’s biggest and most innovative brands in the carrier space. 
Subaskaran Allirajah
In the seven years since he founded the business, Subaskaran Allirajah’s objective and strategy was simple and unyielding: he wanted Lycamobile to become the largest low-cost international call provider by geography in the world.
Allirajah’s drive and enthusiasm over the past 12 months to bring the mobile proposition to a broader market — still largely dominated by the calling card services — has led Lycamobile to invest heavily in expanding geographical coverage. The addition of Germany to its portfolio in 2012 ensured that it has greater coverage of the European market than any other mobile operator. A subsequent move into Ireland and Portugal served to embed its footprint across Europe and avail the service to over 80% of the EU population.
Allirajah has now introduced the service to the US with the promise to bring an unparalleled level of cost and quality of service to residents in 18 states including Florida, California and New York.
Lycamobile is now the largest low-cost international call provider by geography in the world. For this alone, Allirajah should be recognised for his passion and commitment to a telecoms innovation still burgeoning in markets across the globe." 
Jin Lee
Accenture Mobility
In November 2012, Jin Lee was named senior managing director of Accenture Mobility, a key global leadership role for one of the most important strategic growth areas for the global consulting, technology, and outsourcing company. In the short time since taking on his leadership role, Lee has led his global team to achieve strong double digit, year-on-year organic growth, penetrating every industry and all regions.
Lee also holds the position of geographic unit lead for Accenture Korea, and across both areas of the business he oversees strategy, operations, growth objectives and client management.
Lee regularly travels across continents to counsel Accenture clients, be they global telecoms providers, banks, oil companies or utilities, on how to enhance their business operations through the strategic use of mobility services for growth, competitive advantage and long-term success. 
Erick Contag
With over 20 years of experience, GlobeNet COO Erick Contag possesses a keen sense of where the future is headed for telecommunications in Latin America. Contag has led GlobeNet to become the first submarine cable provider to offer carrier ethernet in South America. Since then, Latin America has seen explosive demand for high-bandwidth from wholesale and carrier clients alike. GlobeNet is making network preparations for Brazil to host the upcoming Olympics and World Cup. 
Dan Caruso
Zayo is a global provider of dark and lit fibre, IP services and carrier-neutral colocation across North America and Europe. Under the leadership of president and CEO Dan Caruso, his team have bucked conventional trends in the market by refusing to pander to industry trends of introducing managed services to its portfolio. He has built a unique business with a clear focus — focusing solely on providing bandwidth infrastructure and cementing complete expertise in this field.
With acquisitions — the company recently completed its 26th acquisition in seven years — Zayo has achieved a standard growth of 60% ebitda year-on-year under his leadership. In addition to this, Caruso led the acquisition of AboveNet last year, which kick-started Zayo’s network expansion into the UK and across Europe.
Earlier in his career Caruso was one of the founding executives at Level 3, responsible for its engineering, construction and operations organisations. 
Ibrahim Gedeon
Leveraging technology at the right time is the fine line between dreamers and laggers. Under Ibrahim Gedeon’s leadership as CTO, Telus is one of the few providers globally on an all-IP network for both access and core and for all services from wireless to wireline and from consumer to business to broadcast television all riding on the same infrastructure.
Gedeon has clearly demonstrated the importance of SDN as the next step in service provider evolution with the practical phased approach of adoption and deployment of SDN. The work Telus and its partners is doing on provisioning as a lead to distributed networks demonstrates its applied grasp of leading technology. 
Chris Gabriel
Alive Mobile Group
Chris Gabriel has delivered extraordinary results in telecommunications and technology companies across five continents. His success arises from his inclusive leadership style, cross-cultural sensitivity, intuition for customer motivation, and a sense of humour that keeps everything in perspective.
Since Zain, where he was CEO of Zain Africa, Gabriel continues to forge change across global telecoms through his active involvement in and/or funding of: Alive Mobile Group, designing and building mobile apps to make business work better, of which he is founding chairman; Clean Power Systems, providing renewable energy for telcos, of which he is also chairman chairman.
Gabriel is an advisor to Globalpraxis on mobile go-to-market/distribution and to Macquarie Group on mobile tower infrastructure consolidation in the Middle East and Africa.
Gabriel is in discussions to establish a global not-for-profit foundation aimed at leveraging technology for the benefit of the underprivileged in developing countries, in addition to being an angel investor in mobile technology start-ups. 
Paul O’Sullivan
Paul O’Sullivan was CEO of Singapore Telecom’s Optus subsidiary in Australia but in April 2012 he was promoted to run all of the SingTel group’s consumer activities, including in Singapore, while also being country chief officer for Australia. He was CEO of Optus from 2004 until March 2012. Irish-born O’Sullivan was educated in Dublin and has worked for the Colonial group and the Royal Dutch Shell group in Canada, the Middle East, Australia and the UK. In Optus he was COO and managing director of Optus Mobile before taking on the senior position. He is also on the board of Telkomsel, Indonesia. 
Napoleon Nazareno
Napoleon Nazareno has been a director of PLDT since November 1998 and was appointed as president and CEO in February 2004. He is also president and CEO of Smart Communications, its mobile arm. At home the company has been investing heavily in LTE infrastructure and abroad it is developing MVNO services for Filipino émigrés. The operator already runs six MVNOs with 230,000 customers, via Telstra’s CSL in Hong Kong, M1 in Singapore, Far EasTone in Taiwan, NTT DoCoMo in Guam, Celcom Axiata in Malaysia and CTM in Macau, and now has plans to launch MVNOs in the US, Japan, the Middle East and Europe. 
Mikhail Shamolin
Mikhail Shamolin is chief executive, executive board director and chairman of the management board of Sistema, the large Russian industrial group that is a major shareholder in MTS. He was appointed president of the company in March 2011 and previously served as president and CEO of MTS from May 2008 until March 2011. Previously, he was vice president and head of the MTS Russia business. Before telecoms he worked at McKinsey and Interpipe. Sistema holds a wide range of core and developing investments including MTS in Russia and the CIS, with around 103 million mobile subscribers, offering mobile and fixed-line, broadband, and pay-TV, as well as content and entertainment services, in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. 
Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon as an internet bookseller in 1994 but in recent years it has become a major content provider — and a company that owns the means of delivery, with its expanding range of Kindle tablets. The company turned over $48 billion in 2011. Sales of e-books for the Kindle are now outstripping sales of traditional books in many markets, and the company is also active in distributing movies and TV programmes, especially since the launch of the Kindle Fire in 2011. On the corporate side, Amazon has become a significant player in cloud services, launching Amazon Web Services in 2002. 
Kathy Perone
Hibernia Networks
During COO Kathy Perone’s time at Hibernia, the company’s revenue and ebitda have grown at an aggressive rate, the network has expanded and it continues to win high profile global business.
Perone is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in domestic and international telecommunications services. She has successfully pioneered leading-edge service offerings for media, financial, government and global enterprise customers.
Perone, responsible for global sales, product and strategy, business development, service provisioning, capacity procurement, engineering, operations and IT, worked on the Atrato IP Networks acquisition, announced in August 2013, which will expand Hibernia’s global reach in Europe and bring high quality, cost-effective wholesale internet to Ireland and beyond.
Perone also worked on both the deal and structure of Hibernia’s acquisition of TeliaSonera’s TSIC media business, which extended Hibernia’s network in 13 markets. She also plays a significant role in Project Express, a game-changing ultra low latency subsea cable build, which is the first new transatlantic build in over 10 years, scheduled for completion in December 2014.
Perone is a role model for women in the telecoms industry. She began as the only woman in a sales position in her company during a time when the industry was male-dominated and worked her way up to become one of the most highly regarded women in the industry. 
Catherine Michel
Sigma Systems
Catherine Michel was recently appointed CSO for Sigma Systems, following Sigma’s acquisition of Tribold in mid-2013. As founder and CTO of Tribold, Michel led the company in defining the market conventions for product management and centralised catalogue adoption across the industry.
Tribold’s product innovations have directly resulted in their commercial success, culminating in 60% growth over the past year and resulting in a highly competitive acquisition of the company.
Michel continues to serve for the eighth year running on the TM Forum’s executive committee, contributing to the forum’s strategic direction at the industry level. In her new role at Sigma, Michel is now responsible for driving thought leadership and innovation across its overall product portfolio. 
Jeff Storey
Level 3
Jeff Storey joined Level 3 in 2008 as the company’s president and COO, and was named its new CEO in April 2013. As COO, Jeff led the integration of Global Crossing, nearly doubling the company’s size and creating a network that is virtually unparalleled in the industry by reaching across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Jeff’s leadership continues as CEO, reinforcing a company-wide focus on the customer experience and profitable growth by prioritizing initiatives that better position Level 3 to leverage these extensive global network assets and respond more effectively to the complex demands of the market. Today, the company’s worldwide network and comprehensive solutions portfolio enable it to compete effectively against the incumbents around the globe.
Jeff believes in Level 3’s future growth potential and knows that a strong employee base is core to the company’s ongoing success. He is leading Level 3 beyond its heritage as a carrier’s carrier to continue delivering global network services that address the industry’s most critical challenges, such as cloud connectivity, cybersecurity and mobility. 

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