GSMA Board

On Monday 23 November 2020, the GSMA announced that it elected new members of the GSMA Board for the 2021-2022 term.

Constituted in 2003, the Board provides the GSMA’s membership with a stronger voice, clearer direction, and faster decision making. The GSMA Board has 26 members reflecting the largest operator groups and members from smaller independent operators with global representation.

Stéphane Richard

Chairman and CEO, Orange Group.
GSMA Board Chair

Stéphane Richard, born in 1961, has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange since March 1, 2011.

He joined the Orange Group in September 2009 and has successively occupied the positions of Deputy CEO in charge of French Operations, CEO Delegate, and CEO. Between 1992 and 2003, Stéphane Richard was successively deputy to the CFO of Compagnie Générale des Eaux, Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Immobilière Phénix, and Chairman of CGIS (Compagnie Générale d’Immobilier et de Services), now Nexity. From 2003 to 2007, he was Deputy CEO of Veolia Environnement and CEO of Veolia Transport, as well as being a director of Orange.

From 2007 to 2009, Stéphane Richard was Chief of Staff to the French Minister for the Economy, Industry, and Employment.

He is a graduate of École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) and École Nationale d’Administration. He is a French national.

Rima Qureshi

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Verizon.
GSMA Board Deputy Chair

Rima Qureshi is executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Verizon. She is responsible for development and implementation of Verizon’s overall corporate strategy, business development, partnerships, new business incubation, strategic investments and acquisitions.

Before joining Verizon in November 2017, Qureshi was president and CEO of Ericsson North America. She has extensive experience in successfully managing various business segments, including sales, product management, operations and research and development. She also has extensive experience in acquisitions and integration.

Before becoming president and CEO of Ericsson North America in 2016, she was Ericsson’s chief strategy officer and head of mergers and acquisitions. Her more than two decades of leadership experience in the mobile communications industry include more than 15 years of global experience.

Qureshi joined Ericsson in 1993 and was a vice president there since 2000. In 2010 she was named senior vice president of Ericsson’s CDMA Mobile Systems Group, and she assumed additional responsibilities as senior vice president of strategic projects in 2013. She also served as chairman of Ericsson’s Northern Europe, Russia, Central Asia group, and chairman of Ericsson’s Modem division before becoming chief strategy officer.

Rima is currently a board member of MasterCard Incorporated and GSMA, the global telecom industry association. She also serves as an international advisory board member of McGill University. She has significant experience working with the humanitarian sector and various United Nations agencies.

She earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from McGill University in Montreal, and is fluent in both English and French.

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

Carlos M. Jarque

Executive Director , America Movil; International Relations and Government and Corporate Affairs

Carlos M. Jarque is Executive Director in America Movil, heading international relations and government and corporate affairs.  He is a member of the Board of Telekom Austria Group, and member of the Broadband Commission.

He holds a Bachelor Degree in Actuarial Science and Finance from Anahuac University; a Master Degree from The London School of Economics; a Post Graduate Certificate from the University of Oslo; a Ph.D. from The Australian National University; and a Post-Doctoral from Harvard University.

In his professional career he has been Director of Economic Studies in Telmex; President of the Inter Ministerial Committee for Public Finances; President of the National Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Information (INEGI, official statistics Agency for Mexico); Secretary of Mexico’s National Development Plan, and Minister of Social Development in the Mexican Cabinet.

He has had a distinguished international career, being Director of the International Statistical Institute; President of the UN Statistical Commission (leading the definition of the Millennium Development Goals); President of the UN Cartographic Conference; Director and Secretary General of the Inter-American Development Bank; and CEO of a leading international group for infrastructure and citizen services, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratos (FCC), with activities in 35 countries.

He led the integration of Mexico’s First National Informatics Development Plan.   Dr. Carlos M. Jarque has received several awards: Honorary Doctorate from Anahuac University; Benito Juarez Medal of Merit; Quetelet Medal; the Mahalanobis Lifetime Award by the International Statistical Institute; Prize “Ricardo Flores Magon” for support to Freedom of the Press and of Expression; Prize 2017 Master of GOLD of the Royal Forum of Top Business Executives (Forum that includes High executives of Ibero America, President of Honor King of Spain).

He has taught at the Faculty of Economics at the Australian National University; ITAM; Anahuac University, and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University teaching in its Doctoral Program in Economics.

Susan Johnson

Executive Vice President, Global Connections and Supply Chain, AT&T

Susan Johnson is the Executive Vice President of Global Connections & Supply Chain for AT&T. In this capacity, she is responsible for AT&T’s international & domestic strategy and partnership development for network connections. She oversees global and national access management, international voice termination, roaming support and tower strategy for the AT&T Radio Access Network. She also leads Supply Chain functions within AT&T Communications supporting the Entertainment Group, Business Services and Technology and Operations. Her team manages strategic sourcing, purchasing, supplier diversity, sustainability, and supply chain logistics. Most recently, she is actively engaged in AT&T’s initiative to architect AT&T’s infrastructure towards software- defined networking. Jointly, her organization is responsible for a spend portfolio of over $70B that covers all of AT&T’s network and goods & services, domestically & internationally. Ms. Johnson began working for AT&T in Corporate Development and over her 20-year career has served in a variety of positions within the AT&T portfolio of companies. She served as the head of AT&T’s Corporate Strategy group and Senior Vice President of Business Development, responsible for developing new revenue opportunities through the application of emerging technologies and served as the Senior Vice President of Customer Information Services. Most recently Susan served as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations where she was the primary contact with the investment community on behalf of AT&T including Wall Street research analysts and institutional investors. Before joining the AT&T family, Ms. Johnson was an investment banker at Smith Barney, Inc. in the San Francisco Technology Group, where she provided a range of financial advisory services to communications and technology clients. Ms. Johnson directed several growth companies through an initial public offering of stock and served as an advisor on merger and acquisition transactions. Prior to business school, she also worked in Smith Barney’s New York office as an analyst in the LBO/High Yield Debt area. Susan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised on the East Coast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Northwestern University and a master’s Degree in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Susan received the 2017 Dallas Business Journal top Women in Business Award. Susan lives in Dallas with her husband, Sean, and two children. She also serves on the board of Quest Forum, a global quality and sustainability association. She is an active runner and cyclist.

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.

Gopal Vittal

CEO, Bharti Airtel Group

Gopal Vittal is currently the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (India & South Asia) of Bharti Airtel Limited. In his role as CEO, he is responsible for defining and delivering the business strategy and providing overall leadership for Airtel’s India & South Asia operations.

Under the leadership of Mr. Vittal, Airtel had achieved a life-time high revenue market share. Airtel was recognized as the second most valuable brand in the country. In 2018, Airtel was also ranked 10th ‘Best Company to Work for’ and the ‘Best Employer in Telecom’ in India. In the last six years, he has strengthened the operation while driving transformation of the telco to be a strong digital services player.

Mr. Vittal was previously with Bharti Enterprises where he was the Group Director, Special Projects (April 2012 – Feb 2013). In this capacity, he worked towards formulating and supporting Airtel’s International strategy and data expansion. He also held the post of Director, Marketing at Bharti Airtel (2006-08).

In addition, Mr. Vittal has also been with Hindustan Unilever for over a 20 years. He led several national and global assignments across sales, marketing and general management. In his last four years he was the Head of the US$ 3.5 Home and Personal Care Business driving accelerated growth from 5% to 15%.

Mr. Vittal is an alumnus of Madras Christian College and has completed his MBA from IIM, Kolkata.

Gao Tongqing

Executive Vice President, China Mobile

Mr. Gao Tongqing is Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd., a Director and Vice President of China Mobile Communication Co., Ltd.. Mr. Gao previously served as Chairman and General Manager of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Telecom Company, Chairman and General Manager of China Telecom Jiangsu branch, Vice President of China Telecommunications Corporation, and Executive Director and Executive Vice President of China Telecom Corporation Limited. He graduated from the Changchun Institute of Posts and Telecommunications with a major in telecommunications engineering, and received a doctorate degree in business administration from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Mr. Gao is a professor-level senior engineer with extensive experience in management and the telecommunications industry. He also serves as a member of National Advisory Committee of experts on Internet Plus, Vice President of Alliance of Industrial Internet, and Vice President of Internet Society of China.

Liu Guiqing

Executive Vice President, China Telecom

Dr Liu Guiqing is an Executive Vice President of China Telecommunications Corporation, Member of the executive committee of China Telecommunications Corporation. Dr Liu Guiqing is a professor-level senior engineer. He graduated from the National University of Defense Technology and received his Doctoral degree in information and communication engineering. He is currently the Executive Vice President of China Telecommunications Corporation. His previous positions include a lecturer at the National University of Defense Technology, the Manager of Multimedia Communication Department of China Telecommunications Corporation Hunan Branch, and the General Manager of Hunan Zhichuang Digital Technology Corporation Limited. Having joined the China United Network Communications Group, Dr Liu had since held many positions, including the Manager of Marketing Department, the Vice General Manager, and the General Manager of China United Network Communications Group Corporation Limited Hunan Branch. He also served as the General Manager of China United Network Communications Group Corporation Limited Jiangsu Branch. Dr Liu has 21 years management experience in the telecommunications industry.

Mai Yanzhou

Executive Vice President, China Unicom

Mr. Mai Yanzhou was appointed in February 2018 as a Senior Vice President of China Unicom. Mr. Mai, a professor level senior engineer, graduated from Zhengzhou University in 1991 and received a master’s degree in Electronics and Information Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 2002. Mr. Mai served as Deputy General Manager of Guangdong Branch of China Network Communications Group Corporation, Deputy General Manager of Guangdong Branch, General Manager of Fujian Branch, as well as General Manager of Liaoning Branch of Unicom Group. Mr. Mai served as a Delegate to the 12th National People’s Congress. Mr. Mai also serves as a Non-Executive Director of PCCW Limited (listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with an American Depositary Receipts trading on OTC Markets Group Inc.), Vice General Manager of Unicom Group, Senior Vice President of A Share Company as well as Director and Senior Vice President of CUCL. Mr. Mai has extensive experience in management and telecommunications industry.

Dominique Leroy

Board Member for Europe, Deutsche Telekom Group

Since November 2020, Ms. Leroy has served as a member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG.

She is responsible for the Board Area Europe. Ms. Leroy has over 30 years of experience in the consumer goods and telecommunication sector. She started her career at Unilever where her last position was Managing Director for Belgium and Luxembourg. In 2011 she joined Proximus (formerly Belgacom) where she quickly became Head of the Consumer Market and held the position of CEO from 2014 to 2019. During this time she managed to turn around the company with a continuous growth phase and a strong customer experience focus. Over the last year, she was an Advisor at Bain & Company. Ms. Leroy currently serves as a director at Royal Ahold Delhaize and Compagnie de Saint Gobain. In addition, she has more than 10 years of Board experience, having been a Board Member at Lotus Bakeries, Proximus, and BICS. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Solvay Business School in Brussels.

Christian Salbaing

Deputy Chairman, Europe, Hutchison Whampoa Europe

Christian Salbaing is the Deputy Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Limited, the European headquarters company of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, the Hong-Kong-based international Ports, Telecoms, Retail, Energy, and Infrastructure conglomerate. He is also Deputy Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Europe Investments S.à.r.l., the principal holding company for CK Hutchison’s assets in Europe. He is the representative of CK Hutchison across all of its businesses in Europe, in particular with key strategic partners of the Group, the European Commission and member governments.

Since 2001 he has, inter alia, overseen the coordinated rollout of CK Hutchison’s 3 Group businesses in Europe and since 2012, he has been responsible for the consolidation projects of the 3 Group in Austria, Ireland, UK and Italy.

He is a member of the GSMA Board (GSMA is the mobile industry’s global trade association), and Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee.

He was appointed by the UK Government in 2020 to the Department for International Trade’s Investment Trade Advisory Group and in April 2021 to the UK Investment Council.

He trained as a lawyer and practiced in international mergers and acquisitions for 25 years with Freshfields, the international law firm, Coudert Brothers and Stikeman Elliott, in New York, Paris, London and Hong Kong, before joining the Hutchison Group in 2000.  He received an LL.L. degree in Civil Law from the University of Montréal in 1970 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco in 1974. He is a member of the Bars of Quebec, California (inactive status since 2006) and Paris.

Makoto Takahashi


Makoto Takahashi was named President which is the CEO position, Representative Director of KDDI Corporation (KDDI) in April 2018. Concurrently, he retains his position as a Member of the Board, which he became in June 2007. Mr. Takahashi was an Executive Vice President, a General Manager for Value Business Sector and Corporate Strategy Planning Division from June 2016. He was named a Senior Vice President, General Manager for Group Strategy Sector in June 2010. He was an Associate Senior Vice President, General Manager for Consumer Business Sector from June 2007. He became a Vice President, General Manager for Content Division and Content Business Planning Department in Solution Business Sector in April 2003. Mr. Takahashi entered DDI, former KDDI, in April 1984, after graduating from Yokohama National University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Hyeonmo Ku

President and CEO, KT

Dr. Hyeonmo Ku is currently CEO of KT. He was appointed as the CEO of KT in March 2020.Prior to his appointment as CEO, Dr. Ku served as President and Chief of Customer & Media Business Group. Dr. Ku served as Chief Strategy Officer from 2015 to 2018. He also served as Chief of Staff in 2014. Prior to that, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Telecom & Convergence Business Group in 2013. Dr. Ku is a veteran in the telecommunications industry with more than 33 years of experience. He has assumed outstanding leadership in the development of business strategy. From 2009 to 2012, he was the head of Strategy and Sales Unit in Mobile Business Department, where he played a key role in making mobile business strategy, as well as planning and implementing of distribution channel strategy of KT. He started his career in ICT industry at KT after graduating from the Seoul National University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1985. He received a Master of Science degree in Management Science and Ph.D. in Management Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 1987 and 1998, respectively

Jens Schulte-Bockum

Group Chief Operating Officer, MTN

Jens has extensive operational experience in the mobile telecoms sector, with his last senior role being as CEO of Vodafone Germany between 2012 and 2015. Jens has extensive experience in the consumer business, as well as the area of large scale transformation in a convergent operation.

Jens joined the MTN Group in January 2017 in the role of Group Chief Operating Officer.

Vyacheslav Nikolaev

President & CEO and Chairman, MTS

Vyacheslav Nikolaev was appointed MTS President & CEO and Chairman of the Management Board in March 2021.

Vyacheslav first joined MTS in 2004 and progressed through a series of senior positions across marketing and commercial management, most recently leading the Company’s strategic digital initiatives as First Vice President for Customer Experience, Marketing, and Ecosystem Development. His earlier roles included Vice President for Marketing (2017‑2019), B2B Director (2011–2017), as well as Group Director for Commercial Control, Deputy Director for Regional Management at MTS Russia, and acting Director of MTS Russia.

Before joining MTS, Vyacheslav worked as a supervising telecoms analyst, leading the sector research teams at Trust and Renaissance Capital. Vyacheslav began his professional career in 1997 as a consultant at European Public Policy Advisers (UK) and J’son and Partners (Sweden).

Vyacheslav was born in 1970. He graduated from the Faculty of Computational Mathematics & Cybernetics at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1992.

Motoyuki Ii

President and CEO, NTT DOCOMO

Motoyuki Ii was named President and Chief Executive Officer of NTT DOCOMO, INC. (DOCOMO) in December 2020 retaining his position as a Member of the Board of Directors, which he assumed in June 2020.

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Ii was Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Risk Officer, responsible for the Company’s global business and corporate affairs from June to November 2020.

Before joining DOCOMO, he held several key positions at NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION (NTT), the holding company of NTT Group, including Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer from June 2018 to June 2020, while concurrently serving as President at NTT Anode Energy Corporation from June 2019 to June 2020. Prior to this, he was Senior Executive Vice President in charge of corporate sales at NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE EAST CORPORATION (NTT East) from June 2016 to June 2018.

Mr. Ii started his professional career at NTT Public Corporation in April 1983 after graduating from Keio University with a Master of Science degree in engineering. He was awarded a Master of Science in Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2000. He was born on November 17, 1958.

Mathew Oommen

President and Member of the Board of Directors, Reliance Jio

Mathew Oommen as President of Reliance, leads Jio’s Network, Strategy, and Service Platforms enabling India’s digital transformation to affordable and scalable broadband connectivity for the creation and adoption of digital services leveraging cloud centric open source platforms disaggregating hardware, software and services. Mr Oommen has been part of Jio since the beginning of its ambitious green field all-IP network build.

At Reliance Jio, Mr Oommen personally leads technology and product development. His focus has been driving innovation across network, applications, devices, and systems, having successfully implemented new technologies and solutions enabling industry-leading innovation across Devices and Applications, including Automation, Big Data Analytics and Software Defined Platforms across Jio’s Network and Business Operations. All of these have become key building blocks in transforming the industry as a whole and have set the stage for India’s rapid inclusive growth in digital services adoption across verticals and segments.

Prior to Reliance, Mr Oommen was Chief Technology Officer of Sprint, responsible for network and technology development, systems architecture, device development, including leading the M2M/Connected Car Service development. He has also held executive positions at Williams Communications/Wiltel and MCI Worldcom/Verizon.

Yuen Kuan Moon

Group CEO, Singtel

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, 54, is the Group CEO of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), Asia’s leading communications technology group.

Appointed Group CEO on 1 January 2021, Moon directs the Singapore-based multinational’s global strategy and oversees its consumer, enterprise and digital businesses.

Prior to this, Moon was Singtel’s CEO, Consumer Singapore, a post he held since 2012. He led the Singapore consumer business to deliver an integrated suite of mobile, broadband and TV services. Concurrently, Moon was responsible for driving the Group’s digital transformation as Group Chief Digital Officer, a role that was created in 2018 to unlock digital growth opportunities in an era of disruption.

Since joining Singtel in 1993, Moon has held several leadership roles in Marketing, Business Development and Sales, including VP of Regional Operations and EVP of Digital Consumer. In 2003, Moon was posted to Telkomsel as General Manager for Product Development and appointed Director of Commerce from 2005 to 2007.

Moon has served on the Board of Commissioners in Telkomsel since 2009. He also sits on the Board of SkillsFuture Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). He is a member of MCI’s Digital Readiness Council and also a member of the GSMA Board.

Moon holds a First Class Honours degree in Engineering from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Science in Management from Stanford University.

Olayan Alwetaid

Group CEO, STC

Mr. Olayan is Saudi Telecom Group CEO since March 2021. stc is the leading mobile operator in the middle east region. Prior to his current role, Olayan assumed the role of stc SVP for Consumer Business Unit, where he has been leading a commercial turnaround program with focus on preserving mobile leadership, repowering the residential/ fiber business, doubling down on digital/ non-core services, and leading in customer experience. Mr.Olayan pioneered the B2C concept, bringing consumers an end-to-end value proposition revolving around mobile and fixed connectivity, smartphones and devices, digital media, financial services and direct carrier billing for many leading services.

Mr.Olayan played an important role in steering the consumer business during the COVID-19 pandemic to consistent commercial success, strongly pursuing digitization of all touchpoints, taking the award-winning mystc app to the next level, doubling down on 5G investments and monetization efforts, and putting customers’ digital needs at the heart of go-to-market efforts. Olayan continues to serve as the chairman for several Boards of Directors such as Channels, Intigral, and CCC, in addition to holding the chairmanship role for many other committees. He also serves as the vice chairman of stcPay Board of Directors and plays an important role in steering the company’s growth agenda, attracting major international investments, and fueling demand for its services through the consumer side of the business. Olayan champions diversity and is currently the head of stc Women Forum. He has a comprehensive experience in new ICT-related technologies, digitization, cloud platforms, IoT and cyber security solutions, and is interested in innovation and connected societies and ecosystems.

Prior to his SVP role, Mr.Olayan assumed the role of stc VP of Corporate Development in 2018, leading the inorganic growth strategy, focusing on media and advertising, financial services, IT services and digital platforms, and connectivity assets. Previously, Olayan served as CEO of stc Bahrain, driving its success from third entrant to market leader within two years of launch.

Mr.Olayan has a proven executive management track record and more than 20 years of experience in the telecom, media and technology sectors. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals and has many certifications in the field of ICT, leadership, strategic planning and governance.

Luigi Gubitosi

CEO and General Manager, Telecom Italia

Born in Naples on May 22, 1961, Luigi Gubitosi studied at the London School of Economics  and obtained a Law degree at Naples University and a Master in Business Administration at I.N.S.E.A.D. Fontainbleau (France).

He has been Vice Chairman of Confindustria Servizi Innovativi e Tecnologici (CSIT) and of Asstel and a member of the Tax and Corporate Governance Committee of Confindustria. He has been member of the Organising Committee for the Turin 2006 Chess Olympiad and member of the Board of Directors of Cometa (Pension Fund of metal workers), F2i Sgr e Maire Tecnimont.

From 1986 to 2005 he held several offices within the Fiat Group: Chief Financial Officer, Administration Director and Group Treasurer; he has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fiat Partecipazioni and member of the  Board of Directors of Fiat Auto, Ferrari, Iveco, Itedi, Comau and Magneti Marelli. In 2005 he joined Wind Telecomunicazioni as Chief Financial Officer, being appointed CEO from 2007 to 2011.

From November 2011 to July 2012 he was Country Manager and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Italy.

From July 2012 to August 2015 he has been General Manager of RAI. He has been Chairman of the European Advocacy Committee of the CFA Institute and Independent Director of TIM S.p.A. from May to November 2018. In November 2018 he has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Telecom Italia.

Julio Linares López

Member of the Board of Telefonica Companies, Telefonica Group

Mr. Linares is a Telecommunications Engineer and joined Telefónica in 1970 in R&D. He was Director of Technology and General Manager of Telefónica R&D. He was also Deputy General Manager of Marketing and Services Development within the Commercial Area. In 1997 he was appointed CEO of Telefónica Multimedia and President of Telefónica Cable and Producciones Multitemáticas. In 2000 he was CEO of Telefonica de España. From 2007 to 2012, he was COO of Telefónica S.A. and then Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Telefónica, S.A until 2017.

Currently Julio Linares is member of the Board of Directors of Telefónica Brasil, member of its Audit Committee and Chairman of its Strategy Committee; member of the Supervisory Board of Directors of Telefonica Deutschland Holding. He is also member of the management bodies of Telefónica de España, S.A.U., y de Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.U., and Trustee of the Telefónica Foundation.

On behalf of Telefónica, he is member of the GSM Association Board and Trustee of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation. He is also a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Enterprises Organizations), and Chairman of its Commission for Digital Society. He is a member of the board of APD (Association for Managerial Progress); Trustee of CEDE (Spanish Confederation of Director and Executives), member of the group of Digital Transformation of Círculo de Empresarios (Spanish Enterprise Association) and Trustee of Fundacion CRE100do. He is also member of the Consultative Council for Digital Transformation.

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.

Andrew Penn

Group CEO, Telstra

MBA (Kingston), AMP (Harvard), FCCA, HFAIPM

Andy Penn became the CEO and Managing Director of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, on 1 May 2015. At Telstra Andy is leading an ambitious change program transforming Telstra to be positioned to compete in the radically changing technology world of the future with 5G at its core.

Andy has had an extensive career spanning 40 years across 3 different industries – telecommunications, financial services and shipping. He joined Telstra in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer. In 2014 he took on the additional responsibilities as Group Executive International.

Prior to Telstra, Andy spent 23 years with the AXA Group, one of the world’s largest insurance and investment groups. His time at AXA included the roles of Chief Executive Officer 2006-2011 AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Asia and Chief Executive Australia and New Zealand.  At AXA, Andy was instrumental in building one of the most successful Asian businesses by an Australian company that was sold to its parent in 2011 for more than A$10bn.

Other Directorships/Appointments: 

Member of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria; Board Director of the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA); Chairman of the Australian Government’s Cyber Industry Advisory Panel, created to guide development of Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy; Patron, on behalf of Telstra, of the National and Torres Straights Islanders Arts Awards (NATSIAA); Life Governor of Very Special Kids and an Ambassador for the Amy Gillett Foundation. He serves on the advisory boards of both The Big Issue Home  for Homes and JDRF.

Recognition and Qualifications

Andy has a national diploma in business studies (with distinction), is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, holds an MBA from Kingston University and is a graduate of Harvard’s Advance Management Program. In 2008 Andy was recognised as Insurance Executive of the year in the Australian Banking and Finance Awards and in 2016 he was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management. In 2018 Andy was named by the Financial Times among the top 10 male leaders globally HERoes list supporting women in business. In 2019 he was named by the Australian Financial Review as among the top 10 most powerful people in business.

Kaan Terzioğlu


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.

Ahmed Essam

CEO Vodafone UK, Vodafone Group

Vodafone Group Executive Committee member since September 2016

Ahmed Essam was appointed Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer in October 2018 and prior to this, he was CEO of the Europe Cluster which comprises Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Romania.

Ahmed held the position of  CEO, Vodafone Egypt from July 2014 to September 2016. He joined Vodafone Egypt in 1999 and held a variety of roles including Customer Care Director and Consumer Business Unit Director.  Previously he was the Group Commercial Management Director for the Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific region and has held a number of senior roles within Vodafone’s Group Commercial functions.

Ahmed graduated from Cairo University with an Honours Degree in Systems and Biomedical Engineering and also holds an MBA and Management Diploma from Henley Management College, UK.