Meet the Board

Sigve Brekke

President and CEO, Telenor

Mr Sigve Brekke, born in 1959, has been President and CEO of Telenor Group since August 2015.

Telenor Group is one of the world’s major mobile operators with 180 million mobile subscriptions in 9 countries across the Nordic region and Asia. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr Brekke served as Executive Vice President and Head of Region Asia. He was a key driver and shaper of making Telenor Group a leading force in key Asian markets, and he has served as CEO of Telenor‐controlled mobile network operators in Thailand (dtac) and India (Uninor/Telenor India).

Prior to joining Telenor Sigve Brekke had a political career in the Norwegian Labour Party. He served as State Secretary of Defence in Norway from 1993 to 1996. Mr Brekke holds a Master of Public Administration degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is married, has three children and resides in Oslo.

Dr. Nasser Marafih

Group CEO, Ooredoo

Assad Jabre

former Acting Director, International Finance Corp (IFC)

Mats Granryd

Director General, GSMA

Mats Granryd is Director General of the GSMA and a Member of its Board. In this role, he leads the GSMA in supporting its global membership through a range of industry programmes, advocacy initiatives and industry-convening events.

Mats is a strong proponent of sustainability and led the mobile industry in becoming the first sector to broadly commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016. He is now spearheading initiatives to amplify and accelerate the mobile industry’s impact on all 17 of the SDGs, across both developed and developing markets.

Mats serves on the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, which is focused on leveraging ICT and broadband-based technologies for sustainable development. Within the Commission, he chairs the Working Group on Digital Gender Divide to address the digital gender divide and foster the equal inclusion of women and girls in broadband access and use. Mats is a leader with The B Team, a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of business leaders to catalyse a better way of doing business, for the wellbeing of people and the planet. From 2016 to 2018, Mats was also a Commissioner on the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, working with CEOs across many industries to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy.

Mats brings to the GSMA a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in the highly dynamic mobile industry. Prior to joining the GSMA in 2016, Mats was President and CEO of Tele2, one of Europe’s fastest-growing telecom operators with more than 16 million customers across nine countries.

Previously, he spent 15 years in a variety of roles at Ericsson, most recently as Head of Northern Europe and Central Asia. While at Ericsson, he also led the North West Europe, India, CDMA and North Africa units, as well as the global customer accounts for Vodafone and Bharti.

Mats holds a M.Sc. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Follow Mats on Twitter: @MatsGranryd

Louise Easterbrook

Chief Financial Officer, GSMA

Louise Easterbrook is Chief Financial Officer of the GSMA. In this role, Louise is responsible for overseeing the business and financial performance of the GSMA, leading the company’s corporate services functions, including finance, legal, HR, IT and facilities.

Before joining the GSMA in September 2014, Louise was Regional Financial Controller, Africa for Vodafone Group. Louise joined Vodafone as Investor Relations Executive, acting as the liaison between Vodafone and the financial community.

From 1996 to 2006, Louise held a series of positions at Cable & Wireless plc., including Group Director of Investor Relations, Director Corporate Finance and Head of Group Planning, Reporting and Analysis.

Louise is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Birmingham.

John Giusti

Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA

As Chief Regulatory Officer for the GSMA, John Giusti is responsible for leading the organisation’s public policy and industry advocacy agenda with governments, regulators and international institutions, as well as overseeing the work of the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation and engaging with key development organisations worldwide.

Prior to joining the GSMA in 2011, John spent 17 years at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), working in a variety of capacities. Most recently, he served as chief of staff and senior policy advisor to Commissioner Michael Copps, where he provided legal, strategic and policy support to the Commissioner on all major agency actions, including the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.

He also previously ran the FCC’s International Bureau, where he managed the agency’s relationships with its foreign counterparts and served as its chief negotiator at meetings of the International Telecommunication Union, the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission and other multilateral organisations.

John was educated in the United States, earning a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. He has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1994.

Ralph Mupita

Group President and CEO, MTN

Ralph Mupita (48) is the Group President and CEO of MTN Group, effective 1 September 2020. Before assuming this role, Ralph served as MTN’s Group Chief Financial Officer from April 2017, having joined Africa’s largest telecommunications company from Old Mutual where he was the Chief Executive Officer for the insurance group’s Emerging Markets covering Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Ralph contributed to the stabilization and improvement of the MTN Group’s financial performance following a period of regulatory and competitive challenges. In 2019, he was declared South Africa’s CFO of the Year. During his period as MTN’s CFO, the group successfully listed MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Ghana Stock Exchange. In addition to overseeing the successful disposal of MTN Cyprus, it was also during his period as MTN CFO that the group disposed of its tower company investments in Ghana and Uganda as part of its asset realization programme.

A consummate and collaborative business leader, Ralph has experience and extensive knowledge of emerging markets, with a successful background in engineering, financial services and M&A.

Ralph is a Non- Executive Director on the various subsidiary Boards within the MTN Group. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI).

Ralph is a graduate of the University of Cape Town with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School where he completed a General Management Program.

Izzaddin Idris

Group CEO, Axiata

Dato’ Izzaddin Idris is the Managing Director/President & Group Chief Executive of Axiata Group Berhad. Prior to this current role, he served as Executive Director/Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata Group Berhad from 24 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

He joined the Board of Axiata in November 2016 as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director and was redesignated as Independent Non-Executive Director in March 2019. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Board Committees of several subsidiaries of Axiata and chairs the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, the corporate venture capital fund established by Axiata.

He joins eminent industry leaders in providing steer to the Asia School of Business (ASB), a partnership between the Bank Negara Malaysia and the MIT Sloan School of Management where he sits on its Board of Governors as a member, in addition to serving as a Director and chairing the Audit Committee.
Prior to Axiata, Izzaddin helmed UEM Group Berhad, a Malaysian engineering-based infrastructure and services conglomerate, as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer from July 2009 until his departure in October 2018. Immediately before his position in UEM Group Berhad, he was the Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President (Group Finance) of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s largest integrated power utility, serving from September 2004 to June 2009. Izzaddin has over 30 years of experience in the fields of investment banking, financial and general management.
Izzaddin graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance Major, First Class Honours) from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Kaan Terzioğlu

Group CEO, VEON

Kaan Terzioglu is an internationally acclaimed leader in telecommunications and the Group Co-Chief Executive Officer of VEON Group that serves more than 200 million customers in 9 countries. He transforms telecoms companies into agents of digital transformation in the broader economy,creating new areas of growth built on mobile connectivity and maximizing the value that the industry as a whole delivers.

As VEON’s Group Co-CEO, a position that he has taken over on 1 March2020 following earlier roles as a VEON Board member and VEON Co-COO,

Kaan Terzioglu leads the executive teams of 9 operating companies around the world. VEON Group operating companies in Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Algeria, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia provide their customers with connectivity and digital solutions.

Before joining VEON Group, Kaan Terzioglu was the Group CEO at Turkcell, where he created the “Digital Operator” model.

Mr Terzioglu had also previously served on the Board of the GSMA between June 2015 and April 2019. His visionary approach to telecommunications brought him GSMA’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” award in MWC Barcelona in February 2019.

Karen Halazon

Deputy General Counsel/Director of Legal - Global Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Amolo Ng’Weno

CEO, BFA Global