Global Telecoms Business has announced its 50 CFOs to watch in 2013. This is our third annual survey of the 50 CFOs to watch in the telecoms industry. As in previous years, the list is restricted to the CFOs of telecoms operators only — not vendors.
This selection is not by market capitalisation or by sales or by number of operations. While there are a lot more than 50 excellent CFOs in the industry, the 50 here have been selected as ones to watch because we believe they will play an increasingly important role in the industry’s development over the coming decade.
CFOs in the telecoms
industry. Source: GTB
Some have demonstrated their ability to conclude successful mergers or acquisitions at the highest level and to integrate the financial departments of disparate organisations on different continents. Others are dealing with the strategic challenges associated with investing to address new business models as their core revenue streams commoditise.
Some, such as Mark Ferrari, the CFO of Colt Technology Services, don’t even see themselves as working for an operator anymore. The company now describes itself as a provider of integrated business telecoms and IT services — and that alters the focus of the CFO.
“CFOs working in the telecoms sector are grappling with a complex environment that mixes the effects of globalisation with changing customer purchasing behaviours,” says Ferrari.
“It is no longer about selling circuits; your differentiation is in the end-to-end service experience you are able to provide. While this is an automated transactional experience for some, it can also be about a compelling solution for others.”
New skill sets
He adds: “IT, data centre and networking integration means you’ll see business and efficiency opportunities increasing, but this also raises challenges that require new skill sets. The evolving technology landscape, coupled with an increasingly competitive environment, means things are moving at a rapid pace. As a result, the fundamentals of focusing on generating a good return on your capital investment, taking appropriately calculated risks and balancing opex/capex cost structures, have never been more important.”
Mark Evans, the CFO of Telefónica UK, also highlights the role CFOs have in making the company attractive to financial markets.
“The role of the CFO has evolved to being more than the financial conscience and gatekeeper of the company to include strategic thinking, advice and guidance to the CEO,” he explains. “An in-depth understanding of your market and how this will develop, as well as appreciating the demands and expectations of customers are now essential skills. These help you optimise near term operational performance while creating a compelling equity story that attracts investment for future growth.”
For several years now it has been clear that the role of the CFO is changing. While mastering the numbers remains a critical element of the role, CFOs are doing far more than simply preparing accounts and engaging in financial planning.
“You must have an excellent grasp on the numbers so at any time you are able to talk eloquently around them both internally and externally,” says Catherine Birkett, the CFO of Interoute. “It is vital you have gravitas and great presentation skills.”
Accounting, though, is now just one of the skills a CFO must have and few are engaged in minute management of profit and loss spreadsheets.
Future business strategy
“The CFO role has evolved from accounting to finance,” points out NiQ Lai, the CFO of Hong Kong Broadband Network. “Accounting is about closing the books after the event. Finance is about understanding the future business strategy and providing the necessary funding to execute on the strategy.”
In addition, the CFO has become a critical strategic thinker. “Beyond just having financial skills, the CFO should be a strategic partner to the CEO,” says Ferrari. “This should be about adapting, influencing and most importantly, leading the overall organisation. In this role the CFO must exhibit a strong commercial sense, a fundamental awareness of the marketplace and a balanced risk assessment of the company’s strategy.”
Setting an enabling strategy is at the heart of the CFO’s job for Birkett as well. “Although the CFO will always have responsibility for production of numbers and ensuring robust financial controls are in place, it is my team who deal with those on issues on a day-to-day basis,” she explains.
Ferrari agrees: “You’re not expected to be just a numbers guy. You’re an agent of change with a leadership hat on,” he says.
Lai goes further. “Financial expertise has become just a basic hygiene factor,” he says. “On top of financial expertise, the CFO must have a strong operational understanding and be able to articulate this in financial terms.”
That’s of increased importance because it is the CFO who goes to the capital markets to access funding to execute on the strategy. “The CFO is also the main conduit between the company and capital markets,” Lai adds. “A good CFO should be able to arbitrage different elements in the capital markets, for example bonds versus equity, different geographical listing locations, private equity versus public markets and others.”
Evans at Telefónica agrees: “The CFO will also be a key contributor to the equity story and vision for the company,” he says. “Stepping back from the day-to-day [operations] to look across the markets, appreciate changing customer behaviour and future technologies are all CFO responsibilities. One aspect is guaranteed, change is inevitable.”
CEOs in waiting
Some CFOs on our list are being prepared to assume CEO positions, such as Gervais Pellisier at France Telecom-Orange.
One even stepped up to the acting CEO position while we were preparing this year’s list. Per-Arne Blomquist, until recently just executive vice president and CFO of Telia-Sonera, is now also acting CFO following the resignation of CEO Lars Nyberg after a report into allegations about the operator’s Ukrainian business.
That underlines how, in many businesses, the CFO is regarded as the next in line should the CEO become indisposed.
Others combine the role of group CFO with being leaders of business units or an operator within the group. Richard Moat, the CFO of Eircom group, for example, adds leadership of the Irish operator’s mobile unit Meteor to his main job.
He’s been a chief executive before, leading Orange’s businesses in Thailand and Denmark. His previous experience as deputy chief executive of France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom’s UK joint venture, Everything Everywhere, is typical of the complex strategic roles CFOs now take.
Some CFOs are encouraged to augment their roles with directorships in other companies in separate industries. That gives them a wider understanding of how industries outside telecoms operate and of the wider business climate. The rule seems to be that there’s no such thing as bad experience.
Others have spent entire careers in the same company. That needn’t be seen as a bad thing. NTT DoCoMo CFO, Kazuto Tsubouchi has been with NTT since 1976 and served in a variety of roles. He also serves as a member of the board of Tata Teleservices.
That trend may be coming to an end, though. Fully 40% of our 50 CFOs to watch have assumed their positions within the last three years. These are complex positions, though, and executives tend to stay in them for substantial periods.
Carlos Garcia, the CFO of América Móvil, for example, has been in his position since 2001 and Sunit Patel has been CFO of Level 3 for almost a decade.
Our 50 CFOs to watch this year, have professional backgrounds that are not dissimilar to what they would have been 10 or 20 years ago: 56% started their careers in the accountancy or banking industries and few — just 12% — have spent their entire career in telecoms.
We expect that percentage to dwindle further, along with those who have a background in the government sector, as operators move further from their roots as government-owned entities. That’s borne out by that fact that 16% of our CFOs already come to telecoms from other industries.
Outside industries bring different perspectives which will be especially important as telecoms engages in multi-directional business models involving third parties in media, banking and transport, for example.
Those new entrants will need to establish understanding of telecoms quickly if they are to perform their roles effectively.
“Having industry knowledge is becoming more and more critical and, even though a CFO’s skills will always be transferable, you will have to be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the business from day one,” adds Birkett.
Birkett herself has a background in transaction services at KPMG. In fact, the majority of our CFOs have started their careers in accountancy firms or in accountancy functions in other organisations. The firms Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young crop up often in our CFOs’ biographies and 10% of this year’s 50 have worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for at least some of their careers.
That financial acumen is vital, even for those such as Cox Communications’ Mark Bowser, whose career path began not at a big four accountancy firm, but at the FBI. Even there, Bowser’s focus was on investigating white collar crime, skills an operator’s fraud department would no doubt find valuable.
That spread of financial expertise, telecoms knowledge — and the ability to think strategically and act with authority — makes the telecoms CFO somebody with a rare blend of capabilities.
“There are many excellent accountants who can understand and analyse numbers,” says Birkett. But “there are very few good CFOs who have the numerical and financial skills alongside those of business leadership.”
Many of this year’s 50 telecoms CFOs to watch will be speaking at GTB’s CFOs’ summit, which takes place in London on 22 May 2013. For details, see here: http://www.globaltelecomsbusiness.com/Stub/finance.html
The list in full
- America Movil — Carlos Jose Garcia Moreno Elizondo
- AT&T — John Stephens
- Bharti Airtel — Srikanth Balachander
- BT — Tony Chanmugam
- CenturyLink — Stewart Ewing
- China Mobile — Xue Taohai
- China Telecom — Wu Andi
- China Unicom — Li Fushen
- Clearwire — Hope Cochran
- Colt — Mark Ferrari
- Cox Communications — Mark Bowser
- Deutsche Telekom — Timotheus Höttges
- Eircom — Richard Moat
- Everything Everywhere — Neal Milsom
- Etisalat — Serkan Okandan
- France Telecom — Gervais Pellisier
- Helios Towers — Andrés de Orléans-Borbón
- Hong Kong Broadband Network — NiQ Lai
- Iliad — Thomas Reynaud
- Interoute — Catherine Birkett
- KPN — Eric Hageman
- Level 3 — Sunit Patel
- MTNL — Anita Soni
- MTS — Alexey Kornya
- NTT — Yoshikiyo Sakai
- NTT DoCoMo — Kazuto Tsubouchi
- OTE — Babis Mazarakis
- PCCW — Susanna Hui
- Rogers Communications — Anthony Staffieri
- Rostelecom — Anton Khozyainov
- SFR — Philippe Trotot
- Singapore Telecom — Jeann Low
- Sprint — Joseph Euteneuer
- T-Systems — Klaus Werner
- Tata Communications — Sanjay Baweja
- Telecom Italia — Piergiorgio Peluso
- Telefonica — Ángel Vilá
- Telekom Austria — Hans Tschuden
- Telkom South Africa — Jacques Schindenhutte
- Telia-Sonera — Per-Arne Blomquist
- Telenor — Richard Olav Aa
- Telus — John Gossling
- Three UK — Richard Woodward
- Türk Telecom — Murat Kirkgöz
- Verizon — Francis Shammo
- Verizon Wireless — Andrew Davies
- VimpelCom — Henk van Dalen
- Vodacom — Ivan Dittrich
- Vodafone — Andy Halford
- Zain — Ossama Matta
Eight new appointments
Richard Moat has been chief financial officer of the Eircom group since September 2012. Prior to joining the Irish operator he served as deputy chief executive of Everything Everywhere, the UK mobile joint venture of Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. He has also served as CFO of the joint venture and before that was CEO of Orange Thailand and Orange Denmark.
He joined Orange in 1992 as a senior manager in the finance function, before becoming corporate finance director and international group director of finance. In his early career he served as an analyst for Sedgewick and for Lloyds of London. In his current role he also runs Eircom’s mobile operator Meteor.
Andrés de Orléans-Borbón
Andrés de Orléans-Borbón joined Helios Towers Africa in January 2012 and is responsible for all finance, IT and business development activities. Prior to Helios Towers, he was a vice president at Helios Investment Partners focusing on all tower investments including Helios Towers Nigeria, the inception of Helios Towers Africa and all subsequent sale and lease back transactions.
Prior to joining Helios Investment Partners, he was an associate in the leverage finance team at JPMorgan where he participated in more than 15 large financings. He holds a management engineering degree from the Polytechnic of Turin.
Yoshikiyo Sakai joined Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation in April 1980. In July 2002, he became a senior director of the finance department of mobile operator NTT DoCoMo. In June 2005, he became a managing director of the mobile company’s investor relations department. In July 2008, he became a managing director of the public relations department of NTT DoCoMo, becoming a senior vice president and managing director of the department in June 2009. In June 2012, he was elected to his current position of senior vice president and director of the finance and accounting department of NTT.
Babis Mazarakis assumed the position of OTE group chief financial officer on July 1 2012. Before joining OTE, he was group chief financial officer of the National Bank of Greece, which is listed on the Athens and New York Stock Exchanges. From 2008 until 2010 he was CFO and member of the group executive committee of Titan Cement Company, which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.
From 1999 to 2008, he served in various executive positions in the Vodafone group. Initially, he was group CFO and member of the board in Greece (1999-2006), then CEO in Hungary (2006-07). In 2007 he returned to Greece as COO and vice-chairman of the board of Vodafone Greece.
Anthony Staffieri was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of Rogers Communications in April 2012. He brings to the Rogers organisation more than 25 years of financial and executive leadership experience.
Before joining Rogers, he was senior vice president of finance for Bell Canada Enterprises. He joined BCE in 2005 from Celestica International, where he served in various senior financial roles for the period 1999 to 2005. He was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he began his career, leaving the firm in 1999 to join the executive leadership team of his then client Celestica.
Piergiorgio Peluso is head of administration, finance and control at Telecom Italia. He joined the operator in September 2012, having been CEO of UniCredit Corporate Banking and head of corporate and investment banking Italy at UniCredit Group.
Before that he served as central director of Capitalia, central director of advisory area at Medio Credito Central. He has held positions with Credit Suisse First Boston and Mediobanca. He began his career as an accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co.
John Gossling joined Telus’s leadership team on 12 November 2012 as executive vice-president and chief financial officer. Until the end of 2012, Gossling worked with retiring EVP and CFO, Bob McFarlane, to ensure an effective transition with respect to the leadership of the Telus finance team.
Before Telus, Gossling served three years as the CFO of CTVglobemedia, leading all financial activities for the company. Previously, he held senior leadership roles with Rogers Communications for eight years, including CFO at Rogers Wireless, and he was a partner at KPMG.
Murat Kirkgöz was appointed as Türk Telekom CFO on October 9, 2012. He started his career at Koç Group in 1996. He joined Aria in 2001 and he served in various roles in finance department until merger of the company with Aycell forming Avea in 2004. He served as budget and control director (2005), interim chief financial officer (2009) and finance transformation director (2010). Afterwards, he was transferred to Oger Telecom in 2011 as deputy CFO, group financial controller.
10 from Asia and the Pacific
Srikanth Balachander joined Bharti Airtel as CFO in November 2008. In April 2011, he took over the role of global CFO following the group’s acquisition of Zain’s African businesses. Balachander is currently leading a finance transformation programme including Africa integration, global shared services, process excellence and automation.
He worked for Unilever for more than 23 years before joining Bharti Airtel, joining Hindustan Unilever in 1985 as a management trainee, he performed various finance and cross functional roles. In 2005, he moved to Unilever’s head office in London to lead a global finance transformation programme involving 550 legal entities across 120 countries, partnering with IBM, CapGemini and Deloitte.
Xue Taohai has been vice president and chief financial officer of China Mobile since July 2002. He assists the chief executive officer in relation to the corporate financial management of China Mobile Hong Kong. Previously he served as the deputy director general of the finance department of the former Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, deputy director general of the department of financial adjustment and clearance of the Ministry of Information Industry and deputy director general of the former Directorate General of Telecommunications.
Wu Andi serves as the chief financial officer of China Telecom. Prior to joining the operator in May 2000, Wu served as director general of the department of economic adjustment and communication settlement of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry. Wu has over 21 years of financial experience in the telecoms industry in China.
She graduated in 1983 from the Beijing Institute of Economics and has studied in a post-graduate programme in business economics management at the Chinese Institute of Social Sciences.
Li Fushen was appointed chief financial officer in 2011 having previously served China Unicom as a senior vice president. He joined China Unicom from Netcom where he held several C-level positions including CFO. Li has worked in the telecoms industry since 2001 and has served as a non-executive director at Hong Kong’s PCCW since 2007. He has a master’s degree in management and degree in engineering management.
Hong Kong Broadband Network
NiQ Lai is chief financial officer, company secretary and head of talent engagement at Hong Kong Broadband Network, the fibre-to-the home-network that Hong Kong’s City Telecom recently sold to private equity group CVC. He joined the City Telecom group in May 2004 and has over 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, research and finance. Prior to joining the group, Lai was director and head of Asia telecom research for Credit Suisse and was involved in numerous global fund raisings for a wide range of Asian telecoms operators such as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, SK Telecom, PCCW and Telekom Malaysia.
Before that, he held positions with Hongkong Telecom — now known as PCCW — and Kleinwort Benson Securities (Asia). Lai holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and an executive master of business administration degree from Kellogg-HKUST.
Anita Soni took over as director of finance at MTNL in April 2005. She is gold medallist of Punjab University in the MA economics (honours) school. Her career has included extensive and comprehensive experience in the telecoms sector and financial management. She held important position in the Department of Telecommunications, BSNL and at Indian regulator TRAI.
She worked with major financial institutions like ICICI and IDBI to prepare a report on funding requirement s for private and public sector telecoms projects.
Kazuto Tsubouchi was named senior executive vice president responsible for global business, corporate and corporate social responsibility at NTT DoCoMo in June 2012. He retained his position as CFO of the operator, which he has held since June 2008. Tsubouchi joined NTT in April 1976 after graduating with a degree in law.
In 200, he became general manager of the Kanazawa branch (NTT West) and has held a series of other senior positions across the company.
Susanna Hui has been the group chief financial officer of PCCW since April 2007 and holds directorships in various PCCW group companies. She is also an executive director of HKT and HKT Management. Before that, she was director of finance of PCCW, with responsibility for the telecoms services sector and regulatory accounting.
Prior to joining Cable & Wireless HKT, which was acquired by PCCW in September 1999, she was the chief financial officer of a listed company engaged in hotel and property investment and management.
Ngiap Jong (Jeann) Low
Jeann Low was appointed group chief financial officer of SingTel in September 2008. She oversees the group’s financial affairs including corporate finance, treasury, risk management and capital management and investor relations. She was previously CFO of Optus from 2006.
She joined SingTel in 1998 as the group financial controller. In 2004, she was promoted to executive vice president of strategic investments managing the group’s international investments. Prior to SingTel, Low worked at an international accounting firm and thereafter in a public listed electronics company in Singapore.
Sanjay Baweja is chief financial officer of Tata Communications, part of the $100 billion Tata companies. He is responsible for strategic financial management of the company including financial reporting and compliance, treasury and fund management, financial planning and analysis, management assurance, taxation and procurement and other functions.
Prior to Tata Communications, Baweja served in Emaar MGF Land as executive president for corporate affairs and chief risk officer. He has also worked in several roles in Bharti Airtel, Xerox Modicorp, Digital Equipment and Ballarpur Industries.
10 from the Americas
Carlos Jose Garcia Moreno Elizondo
Carlos José García Moreno Elizondo has been the chief financial officer at América Móvil since 2001. Before joining América Móvil, Garcia was the director general of public credit at the Mexican Ministry of Finance, where he was directly responsible for all internal and external debt management for the Mexican government. Previously, he held various positions at Teléfonos de México (Telmex), including the operating manager at Buscatel.
From 1995 to July 1997, he was responsible for the Mexican investment banking business of Swiss Bank Corporation. He served as the managing director of UBS Warburg and associate director of financing at Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). By 1990, he was responsible for all market-based funding for Pemex. He has been a director of Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico since 2007.
John Stephens is senior executive vice president and chief financial officer responsible for directing financial planning, accounting, tax, auditing, investment management, financing and investor and shareowner relations for AT&T. He was appointed to his current position in June 2011.
Previously, he served as senior vice president and controller responsible for all financial reporting and operations, accounting policy, business planning, and regulatory reporting for AT&T. Prior to joining the company, Stephens served as a tax senior manager with Ernst & Young in St Louis. His career also includes serving as a member of the tax staff of Peat Marwick & Mitchell in Kansas City. He has served on the board of directors of Telmex and América Móvil.
Stewart Ewing is executive vice president and CFO of CenturyLink. He has played a key role in the company’s acquisition strategy by negotiating all stages of purchase agreements from legal and regulatory to folding new companies into the corporate structure and philosophy. The acquisitions of Qwest and Savvis have seen CenturyLink grow rapidly in recent years. Ewing joined CenturyLink as vice president of finance in 1983.
Hope Cochran is CFO of Clearwire. Since joining Clearwire in November 2005, Cochran has been instrumental in leading Clearwire through its IPO and raising $11.5 billion in debt and equity funding. Prior to Clearwire, she served as CFO of Evant, a planning and logistics software developer that was subsequently sold to Manhattan Associates.
Cochran also served as controller of the Americas sales operations for PeopleSoft, a developer of enterprise software solutions for large corporations and governments that was later sold to Oracle. She began her career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche. She holds degrees in economics and music from Stanford University.
Mark Bowser is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cox Communications. He oversees accounting and financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions and programming. He also is responsible for legal, regulatory and government affairs.
Over his 30-year career, Bowser has been responsible for a portfolio of diverse strategic areas including finance, operations, sales, marketing and business development for several Fortune 500 companies. He has held an extensive number of senior level financial positions including accounting, financial analysis, and mergers and acquisitions at companies such as Sprint.
He began his career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating white-collar crime.
Sunit Patel is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Level 3. He joined the company in 2003 and was named CFO in May of that year.
Patel was formerly CFO and a co-founder of Looking Glass Networks, a facilities-based provider of metropolitan telecoms transport services. Prior to co-founding Looking Glass, Patel was treasurer of MCI WorldCom from 1997 to 2000. From 1994 to 1997, he was treasurer of MFS Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier acquired by WorldCom.
Joseph Euteneuer was appointed Sprint’s chief financial officer in April 2011. In this role, he manages the company’s day-to-day financial operations and long-term financial strategy and planning. Prior to joining Sprint, Euteneuer served as chief financial officer and executive vice president of Qwest Communications from 2008 until its merger with CenturyLink, where he led the growth in value creation for the business, which transformed the capital market and investor community’s perception of the company.
Before serving as Qwest’s CFO, Euteneuer was executive vice president and chief financial officer of XM Satellite Radio Holdings, a satellite radio provider, from 2002 until September 2008, after it merged with Sirius Satellite Radio. Before joining XM, Euteneuer held various management positions at Comcast and its subsidiary, Broadnet Europe. He began his career in public accounting with Deloitte and has also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Fran Shammo is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Verizon Communications, responsible for the company’s finance and strategic planning operations, and financial transaction services. Before being appointed to his position, in November 2010, he was president and chief executive officer of Verizon Telecom and Business, responsible for sales, marketing and customer service excellence for the company’s consumer, small-business, enterprise and wholesale customers worldwide.
Shammo joined Bell Atlantic Mobile in 1989 as general manager for accounting operations, and later held a series of positions of increasing responsibility in finance, mergers and acquisitions, logistics, facilities, regional operations and planning. He acquired public accounting, retail and tax experience before entering the wireless industry.
Andrew Davies is vice president and chief financial officer for Verizon Wireless, in which Vodafone holds a 45% stake. As the company’s controller, he is responsible for financial analysis and planning, auditing, tax, treasury, revenue assurance, customer financial services, cost transformation and business strategy organizations.
Davies previously served as CFO of Vodafone Essar, the Indian subsidiary of Vodafone group with operations across India. Davies joined Vodafone in September 2003 and has held a number of senior positions within the group, including CFO of Vodafone Turkey, finance director for Vodafone Japan, and head of finance for the consumer business unit in Vodafone UK. He also spent several years in various financial roles for GE, Honeywell and Singlepoint before joining Vodafone.
Four from the Middle East and Africa
Serkan Okandan is CFO of the Etisalat group. He joined from Turkcell where he served as group CFO and acting CEO of the operator’s Ukrainian operation in 2010. Prior to his appointment as a group CFO to Turkcell, he was entrusted with the job of group financial controller and head of reporting division at the company.
In his prior assignment as a group CFO he led the finance function of a publicly quoted company Turkcell and its operations across the eight different countries. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1992.
Telkom South Africa
Jacques Schindehütte was appointed chief financial officer of Telkom South Africa in August 2011. Prior to joining Telkom, Schindehütte was the group financial director of the Absa group from 2005 to 2010. He also served as general finance manager of Transnet, chief marketing and financial manager at Portnet — now the South African National Ports Authority — and financial advisor at SA Transport Services.
He has board experience, serving as a director of a number of companies such as Absa Life Assurance, Abvest Asset Management and Absa Short-term Insurance. He also served as chairman of South Africa’s market risk committee and investment committee and as member of various other committees.
Ivan Dittrich joined Vodacom on 15 June 2012 from Datatec where he had been the chief financial officer since May 2008 and executive director on the board of Datatec since March 2008. Prior to that he held a number of senior executive positions at Datatec including that of group corporate director, corporate finance manager and company secretary. He successfully managed Datatec’s dual listing in London in 2006. Prior to joining Datatec, Dittrich worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in London and Deloitte in South Africa.
Ossama Matta was appointed chief financial officer of Zain group in June 2010, six years after joining the company. He plays a critical role in the Zain group senior executive management team, determining the group’s strategy, and is responsible for all financial, investment and investor relations issues.
He joined Zain in 2004 as the CFO of the Lebanese operation MTC Touch, and was thereafter promoted in 2007 to CFO of Zain Kuwait, Zain group’s mother operation and most profitable company. In early 2008, he was again promoted to the role of Zain group Middle East finance officer, overseeing the operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
17 from Europe
Tony Chanmugam was appointed group finance director of BT in December 2008 when he also joined the BT group board. In his career at BT, he has established a strong reputation for cost transformation, most recently holding two senior positions in BT Retail, as chief financial officer and as managing director of BT Enterprises. Prior to joining BT Retail, he was CFO and then jointly CFO and COO for BT Global Solutions, a business-serving multinational organisation in more than 100 countries. During this six year period the business grew from £500 million to about £3 billion revenue. He is a chartered management accountant.
Mark Ferrari became CFO of Colt in March 2011 having served as a non-executive director since January 2009.
He is also an advisory board member of KVH. He was previously chief operating officer of Fidelity Capital and Devonshire Investors and Fidelity Broadband Group and served as chairman of FIML Natural Resources and Backyard Farms Holding.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Ferrari was vice president of finance at Kronos and began his career at Ernst & Young.
Timotheus Höttges has been member of the board of management of Deutsche Telekom responsible for finance and controlling since 1 March 2009. From December 2006 until his appointment as chief financial officer, he was the group board of management member responsible for the T-Home unit. In this position, he was in charge of fixed-network and broadband business, as well as integrated sales and service in Germany. Under his leadership, T-Home became the market leader in terms of new DSL customers and developed its internet TV service, Entertain, into a mass-market product while at the same time stabilising its profitability.
After successfully implementing various cost-cutting programs at T-Home and in the European mobile communications subsidiaries, Höttges became responsible for the group-wide Save for Service efficiency enhancement programme. From 2005 until being appointed to the group board of management, Höttges headed European operations as member of the board of management of T-Mobile International. From 2000 until the end of 2004, he was managing director, finance and controlling, before becoming chairman of the managing board of T-Mobile Deutschland.
Neal Milsom is chief financial officer for EE, responsible for the financial management of the business, including procurement and the supply chain of this France Telecom/Deutsche Telekom joint venture. He is also part of the company’s board of directors. Milsom was previously vice president of finance for Everything Everywhere, having originally held the same role at Orange UK for over five years. He joined Orange in 2001.
Prior to Orange, Neal was a divisional financial director for automotive parts company Unipart Group, and held a finance role at venture capitalist 3i. He is a chartered accountant who started his accountancy training at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Gervais Pellissier was appointed chief executive officer delegate of France Telecom on 1 November 2011. He joined the France Telecom-Orange group in October 2005 to supervise the integration of its business units in Spain and advise on geographical integration within the group.
After the group’s executive committee was formed in early April 2010, Pellissier continued in his role as deputy chief executive officer of France Telecom, with responsibility for finance and information systems. He was also in charge of the UK joint venture, Everything Everywhere, with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile. He retained all his pre-existing responsibilities when he became chief executive officer delegate.
Pellissier joined Bull in 1983, and held a range of responsibilities in the areas of finance and management control, in France, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe. He became CFO of Bull in 1998.
Prior to joining Iliad, Thomas Reynaud was a managing director in equity capital markets at Société Générale, responsible for the telecoms, media and technology sector. He started his career at Société Générale, worked in both the Paris and New York offices, leading numerous transactions in connection with IPOs, privatisations and equity and debt offerings. In the last five years, Reynaud had worked closely with Iliad as an advisor, notably managing the group’s IPO in 2004 and convertible bond issue in 2006.
He joined the group during the summer of 2007 as head of business development and member of the management committee before becoming chief financial officer of Iliad in January 2008. Thomas Reynaud is a graduate of HEC and New York University.
Catherine Birkett as CFO has led Interoute’s finance department since the end of 2005. She joined Interoute in 2000 to head up the financial planning and analysis department and was an integral part of the team that drove the restructuring of the Interoute group in 2003 and the acquisitions of Ebone and Cecom.
During her time as CFO, she has helped complete a further five acquisitions including the European hosting business of Via/PSI and most recently the Nordic video conferencing group VCG.
Prior to Interoute, Birkett gained extensive experience of financial and commercial due diligence with KPMG Transaction Services.
Eric Hageman was appointed chief financial officer of KPN in July 2012. He had held the post of interim CFO, along with Steven van Schilfgaarde, since January 2012. In addition, Hageman has served as CEO at KPN Group Belgium.
In 2005 he joined KPN, starting as head of investor relations. He became head of the mergers and acquisitions department in 2007. In 2008 he was appointed CFO of the mobile international division, a position he held until the middle of 2011.
Hageman studied business economics at the University of Maastricht and business administration at the London Business School. He started his working career in London, where he took on various management positions with ABN AMRO and Deutsche Bank.
Alexey Kornya was appointed to the role of vice president and chief financial officer of MTS in June 2010. He has been at MTS since July 2004. He started as the chief financial officer of the Ural macro-region and since then has served in various positions in the company.
Prior to joining MTS, Kornya worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, North-West Telecom, and AIG-Brunswick Capital Management. He graduated from St Petersburg University of Economics and Finance in 1998.
Anton Alexeyevich Khozyainov was appointed general director and CFO in April 2009. From 1999 to 2002 he worked at Itera at the position of financial controller. From 2002 until 2008 he held the position of financial director in various investment funds. From January until February 2009, Khozyainov worked at MTs NTT— the Moscow Centre for New Telecommunications Technologies — in the capacity of advisor of the general director.
Pierre Trotot has been SFR’s senior executive vice president and is also a director of SFR. He joined SFR in 1997 having been appointed special projects manager of Compagnie Générale des Eaux in 1998. He subsequently became financial director.
Trotot is a graduate of the École des Hautes Études Commerciales. He began his career as a special projects manager with Arthur Andersen Audit in 1978.
Klaus Werner has been managing director of finance at T-Systems International since June 2008. He started his career as an economist in 1994 in T-Mobile Deutschland’s controlling department. He initially worked on the German business segment before joining the finance department to push the expansion of Deutsche Telekom’s international mobile communications business.
At the start of 1998, he took on his first management position heading company-wide planning and reporting at T-Mobile’s controlling department.
During the years that followed, he held various management positions in the Deutsche Telekom Group’s finance and controlling departments. His work focused on the group’s worldwide mobile activities, as well as the economic assessment of strategic matters for all business areas of Deutsche Telekom.
Ángel Vilá joined Telefónica in 1997 as group controller, moving on to become CFO of Telefónica Internacional, where he led the Telebras privatisation team. In 2000, he was appointed group head of corporate development. In this position, he executed corporate acquisitions such as O2 and Brasilcel/Vivo. Other significant transactions include Telco SpA and Ceský Telecom, as well as the disposals of Airwave and TPI.
Prior to joining Telefónica, he held positions at Citigroup, McKinsey, Ferrovial and Planeta.
Telekom Austria group
Hans Tschuden has been CFO of Telekom Austria group since April 2007. Since January 2009 he has been vice chairman of the company’s management board. He started his career with Wienerberger group as a controller in 1989 and became managing director of Wienerberger Rohrsysteme in Vienna in 1993.
He advanced to managing director of Keramo Wienerberger in Belgium in 1995 and of Steinzeug clay pipe sewage systems in Cologne in 1998. In 1999 he became a member of the Wienerberger management committee and joined the managing board of Wienerberger in May 2001 as CFO.
Per-Arne Blomquist is CFO and acting chief executive of TeliaSonera having returned to the operator in 2008 to take up the CFO role. He became acting chief executive in February 2013, when Lars Nyberg the previous chief executive resigned following an investigation into the company’s Ukranian operation. He first worked at Telia between 1997 and 2000 before working at SEB from 2001-06, leaving as CFO in 2006.
Blomquist started his career at Alfa Laval in 1989. He is a board member of Lernia and of ice hockey team Djurgården Hockey.
Richard Olav Aa
Before taking up the position as CFO of Telenor group, Aa served as investment director of Arendals Fossekompani, a listed electrical utility and investment company. He has held various management positions in the metals and energy company Elkem, both in Norway and the US, including the position as CFO of Elkem from1999 to 2005, when the company was listed. He has also been managing director of the listed investment company Norsk Vekst and executive vice president for business development in Bertel O Steen.
Richard Woodward joined Hutchison Whampoa’s Three UK as chief financial officer in April 2010. He is responsible for financial control and governance as well as providing commercial and strategic support to the business. Woodward also has responsibility for Three’s wholesale and carrier services business.
Prior to joining Three UK, Woodward was chief financial officer for Three Scandinavia, a position which he held for three and a half years. Woodward has worked for Hutchison Whampoa since 1997 and held positions in operations in countries including Hong Kong, Australia and Israel. Before joining Hutchison Whampoa, Woodward worked in investment banking.
Henk van Dalen
Henk van Dalen is chief financial officer of VimpelCom. He started his career in 1976 at Dutch chemical company DSM. After several jobs in corporate management development and HR he worked in a number of general management positions at DSM. From 2000 until 2006, he was a member of the board of management and CFO of DSM. From April 2006 until July 2010 he was chief financial officer and member of the board of management of TNT.
Andy Halford is chief financial officer of the Vodafone group. He joined the operator in 1999 as financial director for the UK operating company of Vodafone, and in 2001 he became financial director for Vodafone’s northern Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
In 2002, he was appointed CFO of Verizon Wireless in the US and is a member of the board of representatives of the Verizon Wireless partnership. Before joining Vodafone, he was group finance director at East Midlands Electricity. He is a non-executive director of retailer Marks and Spencer.
Many of this year’s 50 telecoms CFOs to watch will be speaking at GTB’s CFOs’ summit, which takes place in London on 22 May 2013. For details, see here: http://www.globaltelecomsbusiness.com/Stub/finance.html