Telecom Executive Moves – First half of May

telco moves may 2020

Telco Moves charts the notable hires, promotions and leadership changes in the global Telecom and ICT community.

Here’s your weekly guide to the executive moves announcements for the period May 1 – May 15, 2020.



CommScope introduced Jeff White as Chief Commercial Officer.

Mr. White will lead a global organization of more than 2,000 professionals that includes direct and indirect sales, sales enablement and marketing.

Mr. White joins CommScope from Here Technologies, a location services platform company, where he served as chief customer officer in Amsterdam and oversaw a complete go-to-market transformation. Previously, he was chief revenue officer for Syniverse and Extreme Networks and held several leadership roles with Cisco Systems including senior vice president/president of India – Bangalore. Mr. White has nearly 30 years of experience in network technology industries, the majority in sales leadership roles of increasing responsibility.


CommScope Adds Jeff White as Chief Commercial Officer to Drive Growth



Salesforce announced the appointment of Gavin Patterson as President and Chief Revenue Officer. Patterson, who has served as the company’s President and CEO of Salesforce International, will lead the company’s global sales organization and will continue to report to Chair and CEO Marc Benioff.

Patterson joined Salesforce in 2019 as Chair of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Salesforce’s fastest-growing region globally. Earlier this year, Patterson was named President and CEO of Salesforce International. Prior to Salesforce, Patterson served as Chief Executive of BT Group from 2013 to 2019.

The company also named Denis Terrien as Executive Vice President and CEO of Southern Europe and Stefan Hoechbauer as Executive Vice President and CEO of DACH – covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Both executives will report to Gavin Patterson.



Optiva announced that Danielle Royston has provided notice of her resignation as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Ms. Royston’s resignation will be effective on August 9, 2020, following a 90-day notice period, and Ms. Royston will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer through the notice period.

The resignation followed recent compensation requests from Ms. Royston that the Board of Directors of the Company declined to meet.



Nokia announced that Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise, has decided to leave the company at the end of May to take a leadership position at a global technology company. At that time, she will also step down from her position on the company’s Group Leadership Team.

Buvac will be succeeded by Raghav Sahgal, currently Senior Vice President of Nokia Software with responsibility for global sales and market services. Sahgal will formally assume his new position and join the Group Leadership Team on June 1, 2020.

Sahgal joined Nokia in April 2017 from NICE Systems, where he served as President of the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Prior to NICE, Raghav held a number of executive and senior leadership positions with Oracle, Comverse, CSG, Kenan and Lucent.



Ericsson has announced the appointment of Todd Ashton as vice-president and head of Ericsson for South and East Africa within its Market Area Middle East and Africa.

Prior to assuming this role, Ashton served as head of Ericsson in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and at global customer unit Axiata within Market Area South East Asia Oceania & India.

Ashton joined the Ericsson Group 22 years ago as part of the Ericsson Hewlett-Packard joint venture and since then, he has held various sales and leadership positions in several countries in different continents.


Todd Ashton
Ericsson Appoints Todd Ashton as Vice President and Head of Ericsson South & East Africa



Accedian announced Rajesh Pathak as Country Manager for India and SAARC. Rajesh will lead Accedian’s continued growth in these countries with the evolution towards 5G and ongoing investment in Digital India initiatives.

With over two decades of experience with both enterprise and service provider customers, Rajesh brings a wealth of industry knowledge to Accedian. Prior to joining, Rajesh held senior leadership roles at BT India within sales and partnerships.

Nuance Communications

Nuance Communications announced the appointment of Diana Nole to Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Company’s Healthcare business.

A proven leader, Ms. Nole most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of the Wolters Kluwer Health division, overseeing all operations for the $1.3 billion global provider of healthcare information, software solutions, and services.

Prior to Wolters Kluwer, Ms. Nole served as President for the Digital Medical Solutions Division of Carestream Health.


The Scotland 5G Centre

The Scotland 5G Centre has made two significant new appointments to lead the recently created organisation.

Julie Snell has been appointed as Chair having recently concluded her role as CEO and Director of Bristol is Open, the city’s smart infrastructure and computer network company. In February 2019, Julie was named one of the UK’s top smart city leaders.

Paul Coffey is taking up the role of CEO. As a highly experienced telecommunications expert, Paul will lead the centre on to its next, exciting stage of delivery.



Nutanix announced that it has promoted Christian Alvarez to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels effective immediately.

Alvarez came to Nutanix from Juniper Networks, where he was worldwide head of channels and distribution. He worked for Juniper for four years.

He brings over two decades of experience to his role. He joined Nutanix in September 2019 as Vice President of Channel Sales in the Americas to lead the team in that region.


Christian Alvarez
Nutanix Announces Promotion of Christian Alvarez to Head of Worldwide Channels Organization



Cogent Communications

Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. announced that Sean Wallace has been appointed Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Cogent, effective immediately.

Also on May 11, 2020, Thaddeus G. Weed, stepped down from his role of Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. To facilitate an orderly transition, Mr. Weed will remain with Cogent as Senior Vice President – Audit & Operations.

In addition, Mr. Jean-Michel Slagmuylder, who had been serving as Acting Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Cogent since March 17, 2020 during Mr. Weed’s temporary medical leave of absence, stepped down from that role on May 11, 2020 and will return to his position of Chief Financial Officer for European Operations, effective immediately.

Prior to joining Cogent, Mr. Wallace was an investor and operator of residential and industrial real estate projects from 2015. He was also, from 2008 to 2015, a senior manager at Standard Chartered Bank where he led their Corporate Finance and Wholesale Origination efforts on a global basis.


Cellcom Israel

Cellcom Israel Ltd. announced the appointment of Mr. Samy Bakalash and Mr. Aaron Kaufman as members of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective May 12, 2020.
Mr. Bakalash was nominated to the board by the Company’s employees, as per the February 2020 collective employment agreement. Mr. Kaufman nominated Mr. Saul Zang as his alternate director.


Sri Lanka Telecom

Sri Lanka Telecom has appointed Lalith Mohan Seneviratne as Group CEO, effective immediately. Seneviratne replaces Dileepa Wijesundera.

Seneviratne currently severs on the SLT board as an independent non-executive director.

Seneviratne has over 35 years’ experience in the corporate field, primarily with Motorola. He previously served as head of engineering of Celltel.


Lalith Seneviratne
Lalith Seneviratne, new Group CEO, SLT



Oracle announced Pat Mungovan as Senior Vice President for North America Public Sector sales, effective immediately.

Before this appointment, Pat led Oracle’s North America Cloud  strategy and business development group. Pat has also led Oracle’s Higher Education technology group where he used his wide-ranging expertise to solve tough technology issues for every type of institution.


Liquid Telecom

Liquid Telecom has appointed Mark Townsend as CEO of Liquid Telecom Zambia.

Raised in Zambia, Mark has more than a decade of senior leadership experience with a long-standing career working across the ICT sector in Zambia. His background includes three years as Director of Enterprise Business at MTN Zambia and leadership roles at AfriConnect and Vodacom.

He joins Liquid Telecom from GardaWorld where he was Managing Director of its business in Zambia.

Mark Townsend replaces Susan Mulikita, former CEO of Liquid Telecom Zambia, who resigned to pursue other interests.


Telecom Malaysia

Former Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh has been appointed as the new chairman of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) effective Monday (May 11).

Mohd Bakke, 65, would be made its non-independent and non-executive chairman, replacing Rosli Man, 66, who will be resigning as the group’s chairman on Sunday.



Telecommunications provider CommsChoice (CCG) has appointed Peter McGrath as permanent CEO and Managing Director.

Previously a Non-Executive Director, Peter was appointed interim CEO and Managing Director after the previous holder, Ben Gilbert, left the company in April 2019.

Peter McGrath was previously group CEO of Nextgen Group, which included roles in Nextgen Networks and Metronome and MD Visionstream, for an eight-year stint.

Before this, however, Peter was CEO of Uecomm, where he oversaw significant growth in revenue and earnings.

CommsChoice has also announced that it has undertaken a major restructure of its business, and has repositioned itself for future growth.



Teradata announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Steve McMillan President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, effective June 8, 2020.

Mr. McMillan was previously at F5 Networks, Inc. as Executive Vice President of Global Services. He succeeds interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Victor Lund. Mr. Lund will step down from the Company’s Board of Directors, effective upon the appointment of Mr. McMillan as CEO on June 8, 2020.

Most recently, at F5, Mr. McMillan was responsible for more than half of the Company’s worldwide operations. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Customer Success, and Managed Cloud Services at Oracle. Before Oracle, Mr. McMillan spent nearly 20 years at IBM, where he held a variety of increasingly senior leadership roles.

Steve McMillan
Teradata Board Appoints Steve McMillan President and Chief Executive Officer



Hunter Communications

Hunter Communications announced that Michael Wynschenk has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Hunter is a portfolio company of Grain Management, LLC, a leading Washington, D.C.-based investment firm focused on the global communications sector.

Mr. Wynschenk is a seasoned executive with senior leadership experience spanning wireline and wireless carriers, more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and cable industry, and a strong track record of growth acceleration and value creation.

Most recently, he was a regional business operations leader in the northeastern U.S. at Altice Technical Services (acquired by Cablevision). He has also held leadership roles at Frontier Communications, BendBroadband, Alaska Communications, Verizon Business, and AT&T/Lucent Technologies.



Viaccess-Orca (VO), a global leader providing OTT and TV platforms, content protection, and advanced data solutions, announced that Philippe Leonetti has been appointed as CEO of the company, replacing Paul Molinier.
Philippe Leonetti was previously in charge of the IT and service platform security for France Telecom and then the Orange Group until 2007. Since 2008, he served as the Vice President of Smart Access for Home and Mobility and later as the Senior Vice President of Steering of Innovation at Orange Group.



Qualcomm Incorporated announced that its Board of Directors appointed Jamie S. Miller to the Board, effective immediately.  Miller will serve on the audit committee and her term as a member of the Board of Directors continues until Qualcomm’s annual meeting of stockholders in 2021.

Miller served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of GE from November 2017 to February 2020. Miller joined GE in 2008 as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. She went on to become GE’s Chief Information Officer where she led the company’s global information technology strategy, services and operations. After two and a half years in that role, Miller became the President and CEO of GE Transportation.



Openreach has appointed Andrew Barron as a non-executive member of its Board, effective from 1st June 2020.

Andrew is currently Deputy Chair of Tele2, the Swedish telecoms operator, and has had a long career in telecoms and media, with his most recent operating role as COO of Virgin Media up to its sale to Liberty Global in 2013.

He will replace Sir Brendan Barber, who was appointed at the Board’s inception in January 2017 and will step down on 31 May 2020, having completed over three years as an independent Board member.


Southern Telecom

Southern Telecom, Inc., a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced the appointment of industry veteran Michael E. Britt as Southern Telecom president & CEO, effective immediately.

Britt follows Tami Barron as president of Southern Telecom. Barron continues to serve as President and CEO of Southern Linc, another Southern Company subsidiary.

Britt rejoined Southern Company in 2015 as vice president of the Energy Innovation Center to focus on developing and commercializing products and services that benefit system customers.

In conjunction with the announcement of Britt’s appointment, Southern Telecom also announced the retirement of General Manager Wayne Ellis, leader of Southern Telecom’s daily operations since its formation in 1998.

Prior to serving at Southern Telecom, Ellis served Southern Company in sales and marketing, market research and planning, distribution operations, and power generation project development. Ellis will retire from Southern Company in late June.



NTT Ltd recently announced the appointment of Kiran Bhagwanani as the Senior Vice President, GTM, Asia Pacific.

Presently the Chief Executive Officer of India, Kiran will lead the newly formed Go-to-Market business with broad accountability for sales performance, solution practices and alliance partnership across Asia Pacific. In addition, Kiran will continue to be accountable for the India business for at least the current financial year, with the support of a new Chief Executive Officer in India reporting to him.

Kiran was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for NTT Ltd.’s South Asia (including India) operations in Oct 2019, following the integration of 31 companies and brands from over 57 countries under the NTT Ltd. umbrella in July. Through his various roles in NTT Ltd. (including the erstwhile Dimension Data), Kiran has been the CEO of the India entity since February 2011.

Kiran Bhagwanani
Kiran Bhagwanani elevated to Senior Vice President, GTM, APAC at NTT Ltd




Cisco’s Australia and New Zealand channel chief Tara Ridley has left Cisco to join Salesforce.

Ridley revealed the appointment on LinkedIn, assuming the role of vice president of alliances and channels for Australia and New Zealand.

Ridley had been leading Cisco’s ANZ channel since 2017, starting as ANZ director of partner organisation and later as managing director for partner organisation.

She also held a number of sales and management roles with the network vendor since 2007. Other stints also include sales roles at Macquarie Telecom and a nine-year stint at Hewlett Packard in the United Kingdom.


Virgin Media

Virgin Media has appointed Mick Fernhout as Executive Director of Group Strategy with effect from 01 May, reporting to CFO/deputy CEO Severina Pascu.

Before joining Virgin, Fernhout was Chief Strategy & Corporate Affairs Officer for UPC Switzerland for over two years, where he led Strategy, Corporate Affairs, Business Intelligence and MySports.

Before that, he spent five years at Liberty Global working in the Central Strategy and Central Commercial departments.


Summit Broadband

Summit Broadband (“Summit”), a leading fiber-optics telecommunications provider in Central and Southwest Florida, announced Kevin Coyne has been named Chief Executive Officer. Summit is a portfolio company of Grain Management, LLC (“Grain”), a leading Washington, D.C.-based investment firm focused on the global communications sector.

Before joining Summit Broadband, Coyne was a founding member and Chief Operating Officer of FiberLight, LLC, where he led all aspects of sales, operations and finance. In that role, he grew FiberLight from a company with less than $1 million in revenue and 1,100 route miles of network to one with more than $200 million in revenue and 16,000 route miles spanning over 430 cities and including over 1.8 million fiber miles.


FNT Software

FNT Software announced the appointment of Steve MacDiarmid as General Manager in North America.

As FNT continues to expand operations throughout the U.S., MacDiarmid will lead the company’s strategic business development and sales initiatives while expanding partner relationships within data center, telecommunications, enterprise, and airport industries.

MacDiarmid has more than 25 years of experience in international telecommunications and IT. Prior to joining FNT Software, MacDiarmid worked at Retarus as Director of Sales in Germany before advancing to President and CEO in North America. He has also held leadership positions at Telefónica, Teleconnect, Deutsche Telecom, and Hilti. Having lived in both Germany and the U.S., MacDiarmid is bilingual and conversant with both European and American cultures.


MedUX, provider of customer experience measurement and monitoring systems to telcos worldwide, has appointed former Ericsson executive Paolo Colella as a strategic advisor to support the company’s growth and international expansion.

MedUX has developed AI-powered, real-time analytics solutions for the measurement, prediction and analysis of fixed, mobile and TV services. Products are delivered through a hybrid technology, software and Information as a Service (IaaS) model. Telecoms operator customers include America Movil, Vodafone, AT&T and Millicom.




Have we missed anything? Email us at or comment directly under this post if there is a leadership announcement we should have included in our weekly roundups.

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