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ith digital consumerism, communications is becoming the new
strategic, competitive advantage. Today’s communications will
evolve into a connected, context-aware and programmable
intelligence that empowers people, businesses, communities and
governments with pervasive connectivity and context-rich insight. This
insight will be informed by historical and real-time information about
devices, subscriber preferences, applications, networks, locations,
availability, and policy.
The subscriber experience will become more seamless, smarter and
satisfying across the billions of devices and applications that come into
the digital fold. To succeed, there will be several critical evolutionary
steps, including:
■■IT and network convergence for more intelligent service and network
■■Combining of predictive analytics and network policy in order to convert
complex data into meaningful information;
■■Virtualisation of network control elements into the cloud for service
establishment, signalling, policy and subscriber data management
■■Transformation of service design and delivery mechanisms for faster
time to market and dynamic responses to customer, network and
market trends.
The goal is to build converged, fluid environments in which service
providers and enterprises remove friction from the customer experience,
and to breed an era of new providers, new applications and new buyer
Oracle Communications helps remove friction by handling customer
demands across all channels and providing premier business applications
that make businesses more efficient and effective in how they create,
deliver, assure, charge and get paid for services.
As a software provider to all major tier-one service providers around
the globe and to digital enterprises across all industries, Oracle
Communications is strongly positioned to build the context-driven
communications companies need to seamlessly connect with their
customers, suppliers, partners, and even each other.
When relationships become mutually gratifying and sustainable,
services will become meaningful and compelling enough to disrupt
markets, transform local and global economies, and to collectively
influence global GDP in a positive way.
Doug Suriano
Senior VP and general manager
Oracle Communications
44 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
his year’s Global Telecoms Business Power100 is rather
different for previous years’ versions.
This year we have divided the membership into a number of
different categories: operators in various parts of the world,
over-the-top and content providers, hardware companies —
equipment, handsets and chips — and software and service
providers, as well as investors and so on.
Executives are listed in alphabetical order according to their
surname in each group. Many of them were nominated by their
Mukesh Ambani
Managing director
Reliance Jio
n July 2015,
Ambani, India’s
richest man,
announced that the
much delayed
Reliance Jio will
begin full
commercial operations by
December. Ambani’s Reliance
Industries has already spent $11
billion on setting up infrastructure
for 4G services, as well as a fibre
optic cable network spanning
25,000 kilometres, making it one
of India’s most costly investment.
Reliance group has suffered several
setbacks over the year and Jio’s
impending launch may be what’s
needed to revive the business.
Alex Jinsung Choi
SK Telecom
lex Jinsung Choi
joined SK
Telecom as CTO,
executive vice
president and head
of the company’s
corporate R&D
centre in 2012 and has been
charged with building its
technology roadmaps and
strategies. He has led the
company’s aggressive push in 5G
development which has been
driven by South Korea’s 2018
Winter Olympics.
Chua Sock Koong
hua has been
responsible for
Singtel’s consumer
business, group
digital life and
group enterprise,
including its
Australian and international
businesses. She has repeatedly
called on regulators to allow
telcos to charge content providers
like WhatsApp and Youtube for
so-called fast lanes. By the end of
March 2015 south-east Asia’s
largest telecoms operator posted
a 4% increase in net profit to
S$3.78 billion while group revenue
grew 2% to S$17.2 billion in the
same financial year. In April the
company acquired security firm
Trustwave for $770 million in April
2015 in a bid to strengthen its
cyber security capabilities.
Ernest Cu
Globe Telecom
companies, but some were suggested by others; and the final
selection was a long and difficult process, which will inevitably
disappoint those who have been left out.
But this is an industry of thousands of powerful and innovative
people, and it is always difficult to pick just 100 of them.
The final editing was the work of all the Global Telecoms
Business editorial team: Alan Burkitt-Gray, Alex Hawkes, Laura
Hedges and Agnes Stubbs.
Li Ka-shing
Hutchison Whampoa
ong Kong’s richest man kicked off the year with a bid
to buy Telefónica’s O2 UK for £10.3 billion in March,
following a restructuring of its empire which saw the
creation of two Hong Kong listed companies CKH Holdings
and CK Property. When merged with Three, Li will create
UK’s largest mobile operator with 33 million customers as
well as the country’s most extensive 4G service.
20 of the 20
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nder Cu’s
Globe Telecom has
held its own against
competition in the
telecoms market in
the Philippines. Setting itself apart
from its rivals, the operator has
focussed on growing its revenue
from the market’s postpaid
subscriptions while providing
consumers with value-added
services such as music streaming
service Spotify and video
streaming service Hooq in a bid to
boost its revenues.
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 45
Sunil Bharti Mittal
Bharti Airtel
he year has
seen Bharti
Airtel’s steady
expansion of its 4G
services across
India, following its
$4.6 billion
investment in the country’s
spectrum auction in March 2015.
Bharti raised over $1.3 billion
from the sale of its mobile towers
in five African markets and is in
exclusive talks to sell additional
towers in the region’s six other
markets in the coming months.
Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises is also
an investor of satellite firm
Andy Penn
enn was recently
appointed CEO
in May 2015 after
serving as Telstra’s
chief financial
officer and group
international. Penn will take on the
reins of a significantly
strengthened Telstra, on the back
of its completed acquisition of
Pacnet, Asia’s largest privatelyowned subsea cable network. The
CEO has stated that he prefers to
enter joint ventures with local
players in the region to take
advantage of Asia’s rising middle
class. In August 2015, Telstra
said it was in talks with beer and
food giant San Miguel to help
launch a mobile operator in the
Masayoshi Son
an additional 22.9 million shares
in Sprint. With an 80% share,
SoftBank is already the majority
stakeholder in Spint. At the
company’s annual meeting in
June, Son told investors of his
“30-year vision” to elevate
SoftBank to among the top 10
global companies by market
Hiroo Unoura
TT’s Hiroo
Unoura has
brought about
significant change
to NTT since he
was announced as
CEO in 2012. A
year after his appointment Unoura
told the company’s top executives
that “we should not leave any
homework for future generations”.
He has since driven the company’s
aggressive push in cloud
computing and strengthened its
cloud offerings with acquisitions
such as Virtela and RagingWire
Data Centres.
Xi Guohua
China Mobile
i Guohua has
steered the
world’s largest
mobile operator (by
subscribers) to
produce solid
results for the first
half of the year ended June 2015,
after suffering a slump from a subpar first three months. The
operator’s total revenue in the first
half of 2015 increased 4.9% to
around $53 billion, compared to
the same period last year. He is
expected to drive China Mobile’s
4G adoption across the country in
the coming year.
founder and
chairman is known
for his bold and
moves. In June
2015, Masayoshi
Son installed former Google
executive Nikesh Arora as
president and chief operating of
the company. In August 2015, Son
spent an estimated $87 million on
46 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
Dan Caruso
Chairman and CEO
founder of the
company in
2007, Dan Caruso
transformed Zayo
from a humble startup to its IPO last
year. In 2015,
Caruso’s entrepreneurial mind-set
has led to further expansions,
launches, upgrades and
acquisitions. In February 2015 Zayo
acquired cloud services company
Latisys; in April it launched a live
video service; in June it extended
its fibre footprint to Washington DC
and Caruso will continue to drive
Zayo’s fibre-to-the-tower roll-out
across North America into 2016.
George Cope
President and CEO
BCE and Bell Canada
eorge Cope,
president and
CEO at BCE and
Bell Canada, is a
executive in Canada
with more than 25 years’
experience under his bell. An
innovative strategist, Cope is
driving Bell’s LTE and LTE-A rollouts across the country. In
February, Bell extended its 4G
network to more than 120
communities across Canada, and
in June the company kicked off its
LTE-Advanced network roll-out.
Marcelo Claure
arcelo Claure’s
appointment as
CEO at Sprint in
August 2014 was
the first in a string
of senior
reshuffles at the firm. Backed by a
new CMO, CFO and COO, Claure has
steered Sprint through a period of
growth and innovation in 2015.
Parent company SoftBank increased
its shareholding in the company in
August and Sprint itself shelled out
on networking equipment from
Nokia Networks, Samsung and
Alcatel-Lucent in January 2015.
Darren Entwistle
aving left his
CEO position in
early 2014 to sit as
executive chair of
the Telus board,
Darren Entwistle
was reappointed to
the senior executive team in
August 2015 as Joe Natale
stepped down. Telus posted a
5.1% increase in operating
revenue in mid-2015 and over the
last two years, has won nearly
50% of all net new mobile, postpaid, high-speed internet and TV
customers compared to its rivals.
Guy Laurence
President and CEO
Rogers Communications
resident and
CEO at Canada’s
since 2013, Guy
Laurence holds 30
years’ experience in
telecoms, media and pay TV. June
2015 saw Rogers cement itself as
Canada’s largest operator with the
acquisition of Mobilicity for $355
million. Laurence also oversaw the
launch of VoLTE services in the
country in April, with Rogers
thought to be the first in the
country to do so.
John Legere
President and CEO
T-Mobile US
aptivating and
T-Mobile US CEO
John Legere has
made a name for
himself across the
industry and his
leadership this year saw the
company increase its Q2 revenue
by 14%. It has also raised its
subscriber forecast for the second
time in 2015. Legere took on the
role in 2012 from his previous
position as chief executive at
Global Crossing.
Lowell McAdam
Chairman and CEO
owell McAdam, a
mobile pioneer
having built mobile
businesses on
three continents
since 1980, joined
Verizon in 2000.
McAdam was appointed CEO in
2011 and this year, McAdam’s
expertise in mobile saw Verizon
post a 5.3% growth in its mobile
business unit. The company has
also agreed to acquire AOL in a
$4.4 billion deal, in a bid to
advance its ambitions in mobile
video advertising.
Glen Post
President and CEO
ne of the
longest standing
chief executives,
Glen Post has
served as CEO at
Centurylink for
more than 20 years. A
consummate dealmaker who gets
involved in every aspect of a
merger, Post accelerate
CenturyLink’s acquisition of
database service provider
Orchestrate in April 2015. The
telco is also making steps with
NFV having signed a deal with
Cyan for its Blue Planet NFV
Orchestrator in March 2015.
Randall Stephenson
Chairman and CEO
enowned for his
innovative and
leadership, CEO
Randall Stephenson
has this year
secured AT&T as
the largest pay TV provider in the
US with its acquisition of DirecTV.
In a move designed to reposition
the company for future growth,
Stephenson has already launched
TV and mobile bundles for
customers. He has also been
instrumental in the company’s
movement into Mexico.
Jeff Storey
President and CEO
Level 3
n April 2013, Jeff
Storey stepped up
as chief executive
of Level 3
where this year he
oversaw the
acquisition of DDoS mitigation
firm Black Lotus. The all-cash
acquisition is expected to boost
Level 3’s security offering and
investment in the DDoS market.
Storey also facilitated the addition
of Google’s cloud platform to its
CDN in September 2015.
Colm Delves
Digicel Group
Amos Genish
CEO and president
Telefónica Brasil
Digicel CEO Colm
Delves has been in
charge of the
Caribbean operator
since 2005. Since
then, the operator
has grown its mobile subscribers
to 13.6 million across 31 markets
in the region. The company has
aimed to expand its broadband
and cable TV footprint with its
acquisitions of Bermuda Telephone
Company and Jamaica’s Telstar, as
well as its purchase of submarine
cable assets. These will be needed
in testing times, after it reported a
loss of $157.6 million in the
12-month to the end of March
2015, compared with a profit of
$43.5 million in the previous year.
mos Genish
heads the
largest and most
profitable telecoms
operator in Brazil,
Telefónica Brasil.
He previously
served as CEO for Brazilian highspeed internet provider GVT, which
was sold by French operator
Vivendi to Telefónica for nearly $9
billion earlier this year. To help
fund the acquisition, Telefónica
Brasil announced in April 2015
that it will sell shares. The
acquisition is expected to further
strengthen the operator’s position
in the Brazilian market.
Phil Bentley
C&W Communications
hil Bentley has
been CEO of CWC
since January 2014,
overseeing its $1.85
billion acquisition of
International. The move saw CWC
gain significant fibre optic submarine
backhaul as well as terrestrial
broadband and TV assets. Bentley’s
priority has since been to integrate
the two companies, and in May he
announced the firm had rebranded
to C&W Communications. As part of
the integration, its Flow brand will
become the unified consumingfacing brand throughout the
Caribbean, replacing the former
Lime brands.
20 of the 20
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 47
Carlos Slim
Chairman and CEO
América Móvil
he richest
person in the
world needs no
Knocking Bill Gates
from his perch in
2013, Carlos Slim
has a net worth of at least $35.4
billion and has built one of the
largest telecoms empires in the
world. Yet América Móvil is fighting
mounting pressure in its domestic
Mexican market, where the
regulator has introduced
measures designed to reduce the
operator’s market share to under
50%. As a result, Slim has
increasingly turned his investment
outside of the region, most
notably in Europe.
John Stankey
CEO of entertainment and
internet services
ohn Stankey is
spearheading the
US carrier’s fierce
expansion into the
Mexican market.
The company is set
to invest around $3 billion in a highspeed mobile network in Mexico as
it looks to challenge América
Móvil’s dominant position in the
market, amid sweeping reforms by
the Mexican government. Stankey
oversees AT&T’s mobile consumer
offerings which includes its suite of
U-verse television and high-speed
internet services. This includes its
DirecTV satellite television product
which was acquired for $50 billion
in July 2015.
Cesar Alierta
chairman and
CEO of Telefónica
since July 2000,
Cesar Alierta has
proven himself to
be an expert at
international strategy. The Spanish
operator has built up a
considerable stronghold across
Latin America, which it
strengthened in 2015 through the
$9 billion acquisition of Brazilian
broadband provider GVT. Alierta
has also set about stabilising
revenues in its European markets,
agreeing last May to acquire the
remaining 56% of Digital+ from
the media group Prisa for €750
million. As a result Telefónica
revealed that its net profit had
doubled to €3.7 billion in the first
quarter of 2015, including a
12.5% increase in revenue.
Sigve Brekke
President and CEO
ppointed Telenor
CEO in August,
Sigve Brekke has
been with the
carrier since 1999,
previously heading
up its operations in
Asia. One of his key objectives will
be to continue the steady growth
experienced under former CEO Jon
Fredrik Baksaas. In the second
quarter of 2015, the group saw
organic revenue grow by 6% after
impressively growing its 4G
coverage. Its operations in
Myanmar are also performing well,
having attracted over 10 million
subscribers to date. One pressing
issue for Brekke, however, will be
Telenor’s Danish operations, where
it was forced to withdraw a
proposed merger with TeliaSonera
due to pressure from the
European Commission.
48 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
Vittorio Colao
Vodafone Group
ittorio Colao is
the famous
Italian businessman
heading up
Vodafone Group
since July 2008.
One of the largest
mobile brands in the world,
Vodafone had seen its growth
curtailed by the constraints on
consumer spending in some of its
biggest European markets, as well
as seeing price cuts imposed by
regulators. However, this year it
posted a rise in quarterly sales for
the first time in nearly three years,
and forecasts 2016 core earnings
growth on an organic basis
following seven straight years of
declines. Its return to growth is
widely viewed as the biggest sign
yet that the European market is
set to stabilise in the coming
Johan Dennelind
ppointed CEO in
June 2013,
Johan Dennelind
joined the company
in testing
circumstances after
the company was
investigated by Swedish
authorities into wrongdoings over
its purchase of a 3G licence in
Uzbekistan in 2007. TeliaSonera’s
CFO and other senior executives
resigned, and Dennelind vowed to
improve the company’s business
practices. In September of this
year, he confirmed the operator’s
exit from the Eurasia region,
instead focussing its efforts on
growing business in Sweden and
Europe. The operator said that the
decision came after considering
what was best for its
shareholders, operations,
employees and customers.
Carl Grivner
Colt (from January 2016)
arl Grivner is
set to take over
as CEO of Colt
Technology Services
effective of January
1 2016. Replacing
Rakesh Bhasin,
Grivner brings over 25 years of
international leadership
experience — including 12 years
at CEO level in the telecoms
industry. Grivner has a proven
track record of being a first mover
with next-generation technologies.
During his reign as CEO at Pacnet,
he oversaw the operator’s early
move to SDN, launching a
landmark SDN platform as far
back as February 2014. Pacnet
was later sold to Telstra in May for
$697 million.
Timotheus Höttges
Deutsche Telekom
Telekom head
since January
2014, Timotheus
Höttges has been
quick to position
the carrier as a
supporter of digitisation. Under
his guidance, the operator has set
about interconnecting its IP
networks across several countries
and has significantly strengthened
its network security offering. The
brand today is said to be worth
over €30 billion and Höttges is
aiming to grow revenues by an
average of up to 1% to 2% each
year up to 2018.
Gavin Patterson
015 could be a
break or make
year for BT’s CEO
Gavin Patterson.
The British operator
has dominated
headlines with its
proposed £12.5 billion acquisition
of EE. It is yet, however, to receive
approval for the deal from the
UK’s Competition and Markets
Authority and is attracting fierce
criticism from rivals such as
Vodafone, TalkTalk and Sky, which
have called for the operator to be
separated from Openreach. The
move for EE would give it a
stronghold on the quad-play
market in the UK, but at what
Alejandro Plater
Telekom Austria Group
lejandro Plater
took the helm at
Telekom Austria
Group after Hannes
resigned in June to
become CEO of Vodafone
Germany. Plater’s appointment
was backed by the group’s two
majority shareholders, América
Móvil and Österreichische Bundesund Industriebeteiligungen (ÖBIB).
It has been viewed by some
market watchers as evidence of
América Móvil’s growing influence
at the company, which has been
one of its more successful
acquisitions in the European
market to date.
Stéphane Richard
erving as chief
executive of
Orange since
September 2009,
Stéphane Richard
became the centre
of political
controversy recently after
suggesting the company would
cease conducting business in
Israel during a trip to Egypt. His
comments attracted death threats
and he subsequently travelled to
Israel to apologise in person to
the nation’s prime minister.
Despite this, he will be satisfied
with Orange’s performance in the
first half of 2015, which saw the
rapid growth of high-speed fixed
and mobile services in Europe and
the sustained growth of mobile
services in Africa and the Middle
Jean-Yves Charlier
ince replacing
Jo Lunder as
group CEO in April
2015, Jean-Yves
Charlier has laid
out his vision for
VimpelCom by
promising to transform it into a
digital operator, rather let it
become a dumb pipe. Previously
the CEO of French mobile operator
SFR, he resigned following the
company’s acquisition from
Vivendi by Altice. He was also
previously CEO at Promethean, a
specialist in interactive learning
technologies, as well as Colt in
the UK.
Andrei Dubovskov
ndrei Dubovskov
has remained
bullish as MTS
continues to face
volatility in its
markets of
operations. In spite of that, the
company has maintained steady
profitability with a group adjusted
OIBDA margin at 41.2%.
Dubovskov maintains the company
has benefitted from growing
smartphone penetration as well
as increased data usage in all
customer segments.
Kaan Terzioglu
Turkcell Group
aan Terioglu
took the reins
as Turkcell Group’s
new CEO in April
and since then has
set about redefining
the operator as an
integrated communications and
technology services provider. His
first move was to integrate
Turkcell’s mobile and fixed
businesses, as well as place a
stronger focus on products such
as its TV platform, Turkcell TV+.
The operators has also
ambitiously moved to be a
regional pioneer in 5G, signing
three MoUs with Ericsson, Huawei
and Aselsan. At the end of
Terioglu’s first three months in
office, Turkcell Turkey registered
9.2% growth while Turkcell Group
revenues grew by 5.8%.
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 49
Sergey Kalugin
named cable
entrepreneur Sergey
Kalugin to lead the
company in March
2013, replacing
Provotorov as president. The
company’s board of directors
extended his term in March this
year as Kalugin seeks to improve
its competitive positions to
support top line growth as well as
improve the efficiency of its
business processes. Kalugin was
previously co-founder and head of
National Cable Networks.
Allison Kirkby
ver a year since
joining the
Swedish operator
as CFO, Allison
Kirkby assumed the
position of CEO
from Mats Granryd,
the new GSMA chief, in September
2015. With more than 25 years of
operational experience in fastmoving consumer goods, media,
telecoms and retail businesses,
Kirkby has the necessary acumen
to lead a company that is looking
to focus on growth across core
markets. Kirkby was previously
executive director of finance
operations and transformation at
Virgin Media, and served in a
variety of senior financial and
operational roles at Procter &
Ivan Tavrin
espite a
2014, Ivan Tavrin
revenues of $5.136
billion for the year
ended December 2014. Tavrin
said the operator will continue its
efforts to rationalise expenses,
improve operating efficiencies and
enhance the quality of its network,
while focussing on maintaining
efficiency in capital expenditures.
The former advertising agency
chief acquired 7.75 million shares
in MegaFon at $20 each in 2012;
he later sold part of that to an ally
of the company’s second-largest
Bob Collymore
ith more than
30 years’
experience in the
telecoms sector,
Bob Collymore has
served as
Safaricom’s chief
executive since November 2010.
A pioneer in the field of mobile
money, Safaricom is this year
striving to be the first to launch an
LTE-A network in Kenya, in
partnership with Nokia Networks.
Collymore also sits on the board
of numerous African community
organisations and is dedicated to
improving the lifestyle of Africans.
Sifiso Dabengwa
MTN Group
ifiso Dabengwa
has been chief
executive and
president of MTN
Group since March
2011 and has led
the company
through an investment drive in
2015. Under his leadership, MTN
Group announced that it would be
spending $2.5 billion on growing
its infrastructure in the 23
countries where it operates. It
also partnered with ZTE for the
launch of an IoT platform in July.
50 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
Christian de Faria
MD and CEO
Airtel Africa
hristian de Faria
took full charge
of Airtel Africa in
January 2014,
having joined the
firm in September
2013 as regional
CEO, Anglophone. De Faria took a
lead role in Airtel’s latest deal with
IHS in 2015 which saw the
company’s Zambian unit sell and
leaseback 949 towers to IHS
Holding under terms of a renewable
contract signed last year.
Nic Rudnick
Liquid Telecom
iquid Telecom
CEO Nic Rudnick
has continued to
lead the company
with a focus on
bettering the lives
of the African
community. Under his leadership
this year Liquid launched the first
FTTH service in Kenya, Rwanda,
Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe,
delivering 100 megabit access to
home and businesses. In August,
the operator signed a deal with
MTN to jointly offer customers
what they claim will be the largest
fixed and mobile footprint on the
Mohamed Shameel
veteran since
1994 — and former
CEO of Vodafone
Spain — Mohamed
Shameel joined the
executive board in 2012 and in
2015 has been pushing
Vodacom’s 7 billion rand
acquisition of internet provider
Neotel. Enhanced internet
services have been of key
importance for the operator this
year, and in January, Vodacom
partnered with Alcatel-Lucent for
the upgrade of its network to
include ultra-broadband services.
Muna Al Hashemi
atelco’s new
CEO Muna Al
Hashemi officially
took her new role in
August having
served as acting
CEO for the prior seven months.
She joins the operator during an
exciting period, having just unveiled
Bahrain’s first VoLTE service. Al
Hashemi will be hoping to continue
the operator’s deployment of nextgeneration technologies. In the last
few months, it has launched a
cloud service platform targeting
SMEs in Bahrain as well as signed
a partnership with Gulf Air,
Bahrain’s national carrier.
Khaled Biyari
ppointed CEO in
April, Khaled
Biyari previously
served as the
operator’s SVP for
technology and
operations. His
focus on technology became
immediately apparent when the
operator signed a purchase
agreement with Oracle to acquire
a variety of systems, software,
and cloud and support services. It
also announced a partnership with
Telecom Italia Sparkle to provision
what they claim is the first 2x100
gigabits a second of IP transit
connectivity in the Middle East.
Scott Gegenheimer
Group CEO
erving as Group
CEO since
December 2012,
Scott Gegenheimer
has spearheaded
Zain’s international
expansion into eight
countries across the Middle East
and Africa. The company has
invested heavily in network
upgrades, rolling out 4G in several
key markets such as Kuwait,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan
and Bahrain. This has enabled
Zain to grow its data revenues
impressively, which were in excess
of $4 billion in 2015. Gegenheimer
also sits on the board of Zain
Saudi Arabia and Inwi in Morocco.
Ahmad Abdulkarim
Mohd Julfar
tisalat CEO since
2011, Ahmad
Abdulkarim Mohd
Julfar has overseen
Etisalat’s rapid global
expansion. Present
in just one market in
2004, Etisalat now operates in 19
and is said be one of the UAE’s
largest listed companies, with a
market cap of over $25 billion. In
August, the UAE operator said that it
will not grant voting rights to foreign
investors when it opens up its
shares to non-UAE buyers. Foreign
investors will be allowed to own up
to 20% of Etisalat shares, but will
not be granted any voting rights. The
company looks set to continue
expanding its operations globally, as
well as establishing the UAE as a
telecoms hub for the region through
its Smarthub initiative.
Nasser Marafih
Ooredoo Group
nder Marafih’s
Ooredoo has
transformed from a
national carrier into
an increasingly
global organisation
with operations in 14 countries. His
fierce focus on the global market
paid off in 2014 when the group
recorded revenues of over $9 billion.
Network investment has also been
on the top of Marafih’s agenda, with
the operator launching Qatar’s first
4G+ network as well as successful
4G launches in Qatar, Algeria,
Tunisia, Kuwait and the Maldives. He
also oversaw Ooredoo’s entrance
into the highly lucrative Myanmar
market. Ooredoo’s customer base
has recently passed the 100 million
Bjarni Thorvardarson
Managing director and CEO
Tata Communications
Hibernia Networks
owns one of the
has spearheaded
Abdulla Al-Rwaili
Executive vice chairman and
managing director
Gulf Bridge International
bdulla Al-Rwaili
took on the
responsibilities of
former CEO Ahmed
Mekky in March this
year, and has
steered GBI through
a notable period of expansion.
Al-Rwaili holds 15 years’
experience in the sector and in
2015 he facilitated the signing of
two European agreements with
Interoute for increased capacity in
the region. The Middle Eastern
firm also partnered with Ciena for
its optical networking solutions
and joined the Etisalat SmartHub.
largest subsea
cable networks in
the world, and
Vinod Kumar has
been at the forefront of the
company’s transformation. Kumar
joined Tata Communications in
2004 and stepped up to the
position of managing director and
group CEO at the company in
2011. With 20 years’ telecoms
experience under his belt, Kumar
has overseen intense growth at
the company in 2015, including
the acquisition of capacity on
Seaborn Networks’ US-Brazil, due
to go live in Q4 2016.
what is arguably
one of the most
developments in
the subsea telecoms industry this
year, the Hibernia Express.
Thorvardarson joined Hibernia
Networks as CEO in 2005 from its
parent company CVC, and has
driven the Hibernia Express
project from day one. The cable is
the first transatlantic route in 12
years, and Thorvardarson
navigated the company through a
tricky period where they swapped
vendors to get it up and running
by September 2015.
Bill Barney
Global Cloud Xchange
EO of Global
Cloud Xchange
— formerly
Reliance Globalcom
— since January
2014, Bill Barney is
an industry expert
having also headed up Pacnet for
10 years, as well as served in
roles at Verizon and Orange
worldwide. GCX has had a busy
2015 with the launch of a Dubai
PoP as well as a global
interconnect agreement with
Equinix. Barney is now working on
the India Cloud Xchange subsea
route between India and
20 of the 20
Top Telcos
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 51
Chris Wood
hris Wood’s
vision of making
an enduring
contribution to
has continued well
into 2015. As CEO at the company
since 2008, Wood drove the
company through its start-up
phase into full scale operation.
This year, Wood has overseen the
launch of four PoPs in Zambia, as
well as the rapid increase in
capacity to and from the EASSy
cable in Somalia.
Steve Collar
3b now has 12
satellites in
orbit just 8,000km
above the earth, to
provide low-latency
broadband coverage
to many of the
“other three billion” people the
company aims to serve.
Commercial service started in
September 2014. A former
executive with O3b shareholder
SES, Steve Collar was involved in
the early planning and has been
CEO since March 2011. He has
worked in the satellite industry
since the early 1990s.
Michel de Rosen
Chairman and CEO
utelsat’s fleet of
38 satellites
covers Europe,
Africa, the Middle
East and large parts
of the Asia and the
Americas. Michael
de Rosen joined Eutelsat in July
2009, was appointed CEO in
November 2009 and chairman in
September 2013. He began his
career in the French ministry of
finance, and continued in the
ministry of defence and the ministry
of industry, telecommunications and
postal services.
kilograms, to bring internet to all.
Founder and CEO Greg Wyler has
done it before: in 2007 he founded
O3b, now led by CEO Steve Collar.
OneWeb raised $500 million in mid
2015, but will need $6 billion —
including $1 billion for Arianespace
to launch the satellites from 2018.
Rupert Pearce
EO since
January 2015,
lawyer and venture
capitalist Rupert
Pearce is leading
Inmarsat as it
begins the
deployment of its Global Xpress
high-speed mobile broadband
network. The third satellite in the
network went into orbit in August
2015 and global coverage is
expected to begin by the end of the
year, with broadband services
expected to be as fast as 50
megabits a second. Inmarsat is
pushing hard to deliver mobile data
and voice to commercial aircraft.
Stephen Spengler
ntelsat is the
daddy of all the
satellite companies,
having been formed
as an
organisation in
1964, with the first satellite going
into orbit a year later. Stephen
Spengler, CEO since April 2015,
has been in the industry for three
of those five decades. He runs a
company with over 50 satellites
and a terrestrial infrastructure,
including a growing number of
teleports, and it is investing in
new ventures such as OneWeb.
Greg Wyler
CEO and founder
neWeb, with
including Airbus,
Bharti, Intelsat,
Qualcomm and
Virgin, aims to build
a fleet of 700 microsatellites, each weighing 150
52 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
Jeff Bezos
he American
entrepreneur and
investor Jeff Bezos
is estimated to
have a net worth of
$43.2 billion after
Amazon announced
profits in its quarterly results,
boosting its stock considerably.
Bezos still owns the equivalent of
18% of shares in the company
and is likely to continue his focus
on new technologies, which
includes the future delivery of
packages to customers via
drones. As well as the company’s
successful cloud business, Bezos
will be hoping to take the fight to
Netflix through its video streaming
service Instant Video. Amazon has
invested heavily on both video
infrastructure and creating its
original video content, which
Bezos will be hoping helps
attracts new viewers in the coming
12 months.
Daniel Ek
he Swedish
behind Spotify faces
a big challenge
going forward in to
2016. The music
streaming business
has grown hugely in recent years,
but it has proven difficult for
companies to monetise. Ek will be
hoping ad revenues will be the
answer, as the online music
streaming platform saw a 53%
increase in ad revenue in the first
quarter of 2015. These are testing
times for Spotify which now also
faces competition from the likes of
Apple Music and Deezer.
Reed Hastings
he co-founder
and CEO of
Netflix Reed
Hastings has
enjoyed a
remarkable career
to date which has
seen the company develop from a
mail-order DVD rental company to a
truly international streaming
business. Hastings has continued
the company’s rapid international
expansion this year by making its
debut in Asia. Launching services
in Japan in August, the videostreaming company will begin
offering services in Hong Kong,
Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore
in early 2016. Hasting has
predicted that in the next 10 to 20
years, all TV will be on the internet.
If he’s correct, Netflix would appear
to be one of the main beneficiaries.
Robin Li
Co-founder and CEO
obin-Li is the
chairman and chief
executive at China’s
answer to Google,
Baidu. Baidu made
phenomenal growth
in 2014 with revenues in excess of
50 billion Chinese yuan ($7.9
billion), and this year Li has this year
been pushing to move the company
into e-commerce businesses. Li is
also investing $3.1 billion over the
next three years in, a
Groupon-style website.
Sundhar Pichai
undhar Pichai
took on the role
of Google CEO from
Larry Page in August
2015, when it was
revealed that Page
would be moving to
head up Alphabet, Google’s new
holding company. Pichai joined
Google in 2004 and was
fundamental in the development of
Gmail, Google Maps and Chrome
OS. He was a strong contender for
the CEO position in 2014 and in
October 2014 Page appointed him
product chief. In April this year,
Google launched an MVNO with
Sprint and T-Mobile.
Launched from a Harvard
dormroom and hitting one million
users after just six months in
operation, Facebook has taken the
world by storm. Zuckerberg hit
revenues of $12.45 billion in 2014
and now has control of WhatsApp
and Instagram. Facebook is now
looking to better its video delivery
with the acquisition of video
startup QuickFire in January 2015.
Neil Stevens
Corporate VP product and
eil Stevens has
remained loyal
to the Skype brand
he joined more than
six years ago in
2009, and now sits
as corporate VP of
product and engineering at parent
company Microsoft, which bought
Skype in 2011. UK-born Stevens
has a wealth of experience in the
industry, having also served at Intel,
Dell and Apple. Skype is now
available in 38 languages and
according to Telegeography, the OTT
player carried 214 billion minutes
of internal Skype traffic in 2013.
Susan Wojcicki
usan Wojciccki
moved from SVP
of advertising and
commerce at
Google to CEO of
YouTube in February
2014, having
championed the company’s $1.65
billion acquisition of the video
site. The site has continued to go
from strength-to-strength,
attracting a billion unique visitors
a month while recording revenues
of $4 billion in 2014.
Mark Zuckerberg
Founder and CEO
erhaps one of
the most famous
names not just in
the industry but
across the globe is
Mark Zuckerberg,
founder and CEO of
social networking site Facebook.
Nan Chen
an Chen is a
prominent figure
head throughout the
carrier ethernet
revolution as well
as a pioneer of the
carrier ethernet
exchange. As founder of MEF, he
has established carrier ethernet
as the predominant technology for
businesses and mobile
infrastructure, defining industry
standards and creating
certification programmes. As
co-founder of CENX, the first
carrier ethernet exchange in the
market, he played a significant role
in establishing carrier ethernet
exchanges worldwide.
efforts on value for money and
customer service, which has
contributed to the operator’s
steady growth and reduction in
customer churn.
Luis Jorge Romero
Director general
ince his
appointment as
ETSI director
general in 2011,
Romero has led the
steady charge on
the much-needed
development of technology
specifications across the industry.
These include this year the first
specifications for the oneM2M
global standards initiative for
communications. The association
has also been the driving force
behind the industry’s
specifications for network
functions virtualisation.
Margrethe Vestager
Competition commissioner
European Commission
aving served as
minister and deputy
minister from her
native Denmark,
Margrethe Vestager
cuts an imposing
and fearless figure in Brussels.
Since her appointment last year,
the European competition
commissioner has made swift and
ambitious changes, taking
formidable titans such as Google
to task in an antitrust
investigation. She has also
adopted a tougher stance on
mergers, stating her intention to
curtail consolidation in Europe’s
telecoms market.
20 of the 20
Top Telcos
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Mats Granryd
fter his five-year
term as CEO at
Tele2, Mats Granryd
will take on the
reins at GSMA as
director general in
January 2016,
succeeding Anne Bouverot who
has moved to head French
security firm Morpho. During his
tenure at Tele2, Granryd has
trimmed down the company’s
operations from 24 countries to
nine as well as focussed his
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 53
Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications
his has been a
good year for the
FCC. Wheeler hit
the year running by
changes to US
internet traffic in a bid to enforce
net neutrality rules across the US.
The rules, which Wheeler has
referred to as “a victory for
consumers and innovators” have
been in effect since June 2015.
Wheeler was appointed by US
president Barack Obama in May
2013 to head the commission,
following Juliius Genachowski’s
departure. The former cable and
mobile industry lobbyist and
prominent venture capitalist was
previously president of the
National Cable Television
Association and CEO of the
Cellular Telecommunications &
Internet Association.
Marc Andreessen
Andreessen Horowitz
s a venture
capitalist, Marc
Andreessen has
backed a wide
range of companies
such as Twitter,
Skype, Groupon,
Instagram and Airbnb. His latest
investments in 2015 include a
$20 million and $58 million
injection into UK start-ups
Improbable and Transferwise
respectively. Andreesen is one of
the key players in making the
internet accessible with his
creation of web browser Netscape
Navigator. He sits on the board of
Hewlett-Packard and Facebook.
Martin Bouygues
Bouygues Telecom
y rebuffing offers
of takeovers
from fellow
billionaires Xavier
Niel and Patrik Drahi,
the French tycoon
Martin Bouygues
must believe Bouygues Telecom has
what it takes to stand on its own
and challenge its rivals. Last year
Martin Bouygues rejected Iliad’s €5
billion offer and turned down Altice’s
€9 billion deal earlier this year — a
price estimated at around 20%
above its market value. The
company has increased capital
expenditure by 12% year on year in
the first half of 2015 and aims to
exceed its goal of cutting €300
million by the end of the year.
Patrick Drahi
Founder and chairman
ith his eye on
the prize,
maverick Patrick
Drahi is fast gaining
a foothold in the US
cable market. The
latest in his list of acquisitions is
Altice’s $17.7 billion purchase of
Cablevision in September 2015,
which follows his $9.1 billion
acquisition of US cable company
Suddenlink in May. In the last 18
months, Drahi has picked up
formidable assets such as SFR,
France’s second largest mobile
operator by subscribers and Portugal
Telecom. The billionaire stopped
short of acquiring Bouygues Telecom
when the operator’s board of
directors declined to Altice’s $11.4
billion offer.
Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail Fridman is
on the hunt for US
and European
technology and
companies and assets that are
either financially distressed or
struggling. It’s a task that only a
54 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
businessman of Fridman’s acumen
can take on. In April 2015,
Fridman set up his private equitystyle fund LetterOne to invest in
telecoms and technology
companies as part of a move to
diversify from its oil and gas
investments. The Russian oligarch
already owns two assets in Alfa
Telecoms, which controls a 13%
stake in Turkcell, and Altimo,
which owns a 47.85% share in
John Malone
Liberty Global
ll eyes are on
Malone as he
continues to
momentum over an
exchange or
combination of
assets with Vodafone. Anticipation
of a potential deal has been
mounting in recent months since
the operator revealed they have
been in talks to swap assets with
Liberty Global. Liberty Global and
Vodafone have combined annual
revenues of over $80 million and
a combined market value of $130
Tim Cook
fficially named
CEO of Apple in
August 2011, Cook
had the daunting
task of filling
predecessor Steve
Jobs’ shoes. Apple
is now on the sixth incarnation of
its iPhone and iPad, which
continue to show strong sells
globally and attracted major media
hype. In the content space it faces
stiffer competition and challenges.
Having launched its music
streaming service Apple Music
earlier this year, there are also
rumours in the market that the
company is considering producing
original content in order to take on
Netflix and Amazon. Ingredients
that make an interesting year
ahead for Cook.
Nobuhiro Endo
obuhiro Endo
has been with
NEC since 1981
and president since
2010, after heading
strategy, which saw
the company move
into OSS with NetCracker — to
which it then added Convergys’s
billing unit. The company has
become a major supplier to
Telefónica in the operator’s
pioneering strategy to move
towards cloud services, software
defined networks and virtual
network operation.
Ulf Ewaldsson
Group CTO
lf Ewaldsson
has been CTO
of Ericsson since
February 2012 after
five years as head
of radio at the
company’s networks
business unit, where he was
instrumental in helping to create
products, such as HSPA and LTE
in the radio-access network.
Ewaldsson chairs Ericsson’s
research board and as such is a
senior figure in the cross-industry
collaboration which is expected to
lead to 5G trials from 2020.
Tom Fallon
specialist Infinera
competes in its
important niche
with the major
equipment companies and has
won contracts from many
advanced operators. Former Cisco
executive Thomas Fallon moved to
Infinera in 2004 and became CEO
in January 2010 and was also
president until 2013. The
company has just expanded with
the purchase of Sweden’s
Transmode for the equivalent of
$350 million.
Terry Matthews
Wesley Clover; Mitel
its rival ZTE, the US is still
excluded from its markets, though
the imminent disappearance of
Alcatel-Lucent into Nokia will
reduce the number of conventional
western equipment makers to two.
Chuck Robbins
Terry Matthews is
chairman of Mitel,
now providing
equipment, which is owned
through his investment firm
Wesley Clover. He set up Mitel in
the 1970s and bought it back in
2000, just as he sold Newbridge
Networks to Alcatel. Mitel, a public
company since 2010, has been
acquisitive: it bought Aastra
Technologies in 2013 and Mavenir
Systems in March 2015.
huck Robbins
took over in July
2015 from John
Chambers, who had
led since 1995,
and immediately
set about a
management reshuffle. Out went a
number of well known names,
including former CTO Padmasree
Warrior. Robbins, with Cisco since
1997, has the personal support of
Chambers, who said: “Chuck is
unique in his ability to translate
vision and strategy into worldclass execution, bringing together
teams and ecosystems to drive
Rami Rahim
Simon Segars
Juniper Networks
ami Rahim was
number 32 of
Juniper Networks,
back in 1997, as
an engineer on its
core router, and
became CEO in November 2014,
after spending time as executive
vice president and general
manager of Juniper’s development
and innovation organisation,
overseeing the product and
technology portfolio. Now he’s
pushing the company into into the
world of virtualisation.
Ren Zhengfei
Founder and president
Shi Lirong
CEO and executive director
hi Lirong has
focussed ZTE
on its key strengths
and delivered
profitability. At the
start of 2015 the
company announced revenue
growth of 8% but profit growth of
94.2% to $424 million. These
achievements follow from Shi’s
reorganisation of the business to
focus on its three key markets —
operators, enterprise and mobile
devices — with the aim of
sharpening its focus and
continuing to deliver revenue and
profit growth.
Jong-Kyun Shin
CEO and president
Samsung Electronics
ong-Kyun Shin
has been
president of
Electronics since
2012 and CEO
since 2013, but he
has also been head of IT and
mobile communications since
2009, leading the company’s
spectacular race with Apple in the
handset and tablet business. That
unit was combined with IT in
2011, putting Shin into a powerful
position in Samsung’s business
covering the whole telecoms
industry. He was previously head
of R&D for the mobile unit.
ARM Holdings
engineer Simon
Segars joined ARM
as the sixteenth
employee of the
chip maker in
1991, and he
succeeded Warren East as CEO in
2013, after holding senior
positions in the company’s
processor and physical IP
divisons. He earlier led the
development of early products
that powered the first digital
mobile phones, and holds patents
in the field of embedded CPU
architectures. He is driven by a
vision of technology that
empowers people and businesses
to improve social, economic,
education and health outcomes.
20 of the 20
Top Telcos
Get Better Results
en Zhengfei set
up Huawei in
1987, selling
telephone exchange
kit imported from
Hong Kong. Since
then the company
has grown to compete directly with
Ericsson as one of the world’s two
biggest equipment vendors. Like
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Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015 55
Gary Smith
President and CEO
ary Smith has
run Ciena for
nearly two decades.
Under Smith’s
tenure, Ciena has
delivered significant
advancements in next-generation
networks. Most recently, he
steered the acquisition of Cyan,
strengthening the company’s
position for the next major wave of
industry growth as the market
continues its shift toward
virtualisation and software defined
Rajeev Suri
President and CEO
he coming year
will see Rajeev
Suri, CEO of Nokia
Siemens Networks
since 2009 and
then all of Nokia
from May 2014,
realise his dream and complete
the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
Once it happens, the expanded
Nokia will have products in
markets that Suri has been taking
NSN/Nokia out of for six years.
The deal will give him significant
market share in the US mobile
industry, where Nokia was never
Hans Vestberg
President and CEO
ans Vestberg
has now been
CEO of Ericsson for
more than five
years, having
previously been
CFO. He is a
leading advocate for the potential
of mobility and broadband to
tackle some of the world’s most
compelling issues such as poverty,
health, education and climate
change. He is a member of the
Broadband Commission for Digital
Development and of the
leadership council of the United
Nation’s Sustainable Development
Solutions Network.
Eli Gelman
ver the last 12
months, CEO Eli
Gelman has
continued to take
Amdocs into new
strategic directions,
including mobile
financial services — following its
acquisition of Utiba — and network
functions virtualisation. Under
Gelman’s leadership, Amdocs has
expanded its customer experience
systems portfolio, is conducting
the industry’s largest multi-play
transformations at Telefónica and
Singtel, and has purchased
Comverse’s BSS assets.
Stephen Gray
President and CEO
tephen became
president and CEO in
August 2014 three
years after joining
the company’s board
following Syniverse’s
acquisition by the Carlyle Group —
where he was operating executive
with the private equity company’s
telecommunications, media and
technology group. Now he oversees
the development of Syniverse’s
global business, including IPX, which
has enabled the first commercial
VoLTE roaming service.
TK Kurien
K Kurien has
been a
leader of Wipro and
has been
instrumental in
turning around the
various businesses that he has
spearheaded within the group,
including the business process
56 Global Telecoms Business September/October 2015
outsourcing, media, telecoms and
consulting. He joined the company
in 2001, starting its telecoms and
ISP business, and has headed
most units since then, including
consulting and IT. Kurien’s fiveyear contract as CEO expires in
February 2016.
Satya Nadella
atya Nadella
took over as
CEO of Microsoft in
February 2014 and
a year later wrote off
the company’s $7.6
billion purchase of
Nokia’s handset business. Former
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop left at
about the same time. The whole
Nokia disaster has almost
overshadowed Microsoft’s earlier
$8.5 billion purchase of Skype —
technology that is now incorporated
into Microsoft’s business software.
But Microsoft is still the third
largest maker of phones.
Ginni Rometty
Chairman, president and CEO
inni Rometty has
led IBM since
2011 after spending
time as senior vice
president and group
executive for sales,
marketing and
strategy. She joined in 1981 as a
systems engineer, so saw the
company’s near-death experience in
the late 1980s. In 2014 she
announced an expansion of its data
centre and cloud storage business,
but sales have been flat and she is
quoted as saying IBM has “to
reinvent ourselves like we’ve done
in prior generations”.
Doug Suriano
General manager
Oracle Communications
oug Suriano
took over
business after
Bhaskar Gorti
moved to AlcatelLucent at the start of 2015. With
its heritage in IT, combined with
network assets from the Acme
Packet and Tekelec acquisitions,
Oracle has already made moves to
advance NFV and cloud
technologies, enabling the
convergence of IT and network —
something Suriano knows well
from his time as Tekelec’s CTO
and engineering VP. He wants to
make the company the partner of
choice as operators transform
their infrastructures.
David Walsh
avid Walsh, who
has run
Genband since
2013, has led the
transformation from
provider to a leader in real time
software solutions. One industrychanging initiative was launching
Kandy, a cloud communications
platform that allows companies to
embed contextual real time
communications directly into
business applications in minutes.
Now he has set up the Fring
alliance to help operators beat
OTT players.
Meg Whitman
Chairwoman, president and
ormer eBay CEO
Meg Whitman
became CEO of
Hewlett-Packard in
2011 and is leading
the bold move to
split the company
into two in late 2015. She will be
president and CEO of Hewlett
Packard Enterprise, which will be
responsible for enterprise
computer infrastructure, software,
cloud and services businesses —
including NFV/SDN-based
products for the telecoms
industry. It expects annual
revenue of more than $50 billion.

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