Rob Conway quits as CEO of GSM Association

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Mobile industry’s board meeting concludes with departure of CEO Rob Conway after 12 years

Rob Conway, who has led the mobile industry’s GSM Association for 12 years, is to step down from September 1. The announcement came from the GSMA’s board meeting in Venice, hosted by new chairman Franco Bernabè, who is executive chairman of Telecom Italia.
No successor has been appointed. The board said that it would “commence a search process to identify a new CEO”.
Conway’s departure comes after a period when there were rumours about tensions at the top of the GSMA, particularly since the arrival of Bernabè as chairman of the board in early 2011. Bernabè did not refer to those tensions in his statement: “Rob has led the GSMA during a period of tremendous growth as we have moved from 500 million mobile connections to nearly six billion connections today, and has nurtured the Mobile World Congress into an extraordinary yearly event where the mobile industry convenes to do business.”
Conway’s departure comes just before the GSMA is expected to announce its choice of host city for its 60,000-strong annual Mobile World Congress. Barcelona, home of MWC for the past six years, is competing with Paris, Munich and Milan.
Conway commented in the official GSMA statement: “I am very proud of the many industry-leading initiatives and contributions that the GSMA has made during my leadership, including the growth of the premier industry event in the Mobile World Congress, through to initiatives such as the Development Fund which has driven innovative approaches to connecting people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” GTB