Telecom Executive Moves – August 2020

telco moves august 2020

Welcome to another installment of Telco Moves!

Your biweekly guide to the notable hires, promotions and leadership changes in the global Telecom and ICT community.

Here are some of the major executive moves announcements from the second half of August 2020.

(You can review the leadership announcements from the first half of August via this link. )


MTN Group names Ralph Mupita as new CEO

MTN Group announced the appointment of Ralph Mupita, the current group CFO, as the new group president and CEO as replacement of Rob Shuter. Rob Shuter is joining BT Group as the head of its enterprise business.

Ralph Mupita has served as the MTN Group CFO since April 2017. Prior to joining MTN Group, Ralph was the CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets for five years, a business that provided financial services to individuals and corporates across 19 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, managing over R1 trillion of customer assets under management at the time.

Rob Shuter, the current group president and CEO, will be stepping down from his executive responsibilities on 31 August 2020 and will support Ralph Mupita until the end of his fixed-term contract early next year.


Airtel Sri Lanka appoints new CEO

Airtel Lanka announced the appointment of Ashish Chandra as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. In his new role, Ashish has the mandate to accelerate Airtel’s growth in the Sri Lankan market by leveraging best-in-class network technologies and innovative digital platforms.

Ashish brings with him over two decades of rich experience in the Indian telecommunications industry. Prior to joining Airtel Lanka, he was the Business Head & CEO (Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for Vodafone Idea Limited.


Vodacom Group appoints Raisibe Morathi as Group Chief Financial Officer

Vodacom Group has announced Raisibe Morathi as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective 1 November 2020, when she will also be appointed to the Vodacom Group Board. As one of the most experienced and one of very few African black female CFOs of a listed company in South Africa, Raisibe’s appointment underscores Vodacom’s commitment to driving diversity across the workplace.

Raisibe joins Vodacom from Nedbank Group, where she was the Group Chief Finance Officer since 2009.

Raisibe has acquired 26 years of experience, including 20 years in executive roles at institutions such as Industrial Development Corporation, Sanlam and Nedbank. Raisibe succeeds Till Streichert following his departure in June 2020 and the interim appointment of Sitho Mdlalose as Group CFO.


Vodafone names Lori Cunningham to head digital business

Vodafone announced the appointment of former Net-A-Porter executive Lori Cunningham to lead digital and business development for its consumer smart technology business.

Lori joins Vodafone with over 20 years’ experience across industries including Internet service, property and publishing, having held senior positions in businesses such as Countrywide, Telegraph Media and Johnston Press.

After starting her career as a strategy consultant with consulting firm Booz Allen, Lori later moved to AOL and then Net-A-Porter, where she set up the company’s new business function.


New UK chief exec in at Big Blue

IBM UK has appointed Sreeram Visvanathan as its new chief executive, with incumbent Bill Kelleher becoming chairman.

Visvanathan has been in his current role of global managing director of the government, education healthcare and life sciences since 2017. The change in leadership will take effect on 1 September.

Visvanathan joined IBM in 2002 as part of Big Blue’s acquisition of PwC Consulting.


Former software engineer Elisabetta Romano becomes CEO of Sparkle

The new CEO of Telecom Italia Sparkle is Elisabetta Romano, who was appointed to lead TIM’s international arm.

Her appointment came just hours after TIM announced the resignation of Mario Di Mauro, who had been in the role for 17 months.

Romano had been the group’s head of chief innovation and partnership since last November – a similar role to that held by Di Mauro, who was chief strategy and innovation officer before accepting the Sparkle job. Last year she was an advocate for Capacity’s Global Women in Telco and Tech Awards and Summit. She becomes the ninth CEO of Sparkle in ten years.

Romano has been with TIM only just over two years, having spent her career since 2003 with Ericsson, in Italy, Sweden and the US, after university education in computer science. At Ericsson she was head of operations support systems based in Stockholm, and then head of TV and media, based in Santa Clara, California. She was later head of core network, a department focused on the development of connectivity services, especially those related to 5G mobile broadband.


Nutanix Announces CEO Succession Plan

Nutanix announced that Dheeraj Pandey plans to retire as CEO of Nutanix upon the selection and appointment of the Company’s next CEO.

‘Co-founding and leading Nutanix for the last 11 years has been the single most rewarding experience of my professional career,’ says Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey.

On Thursday, Nutanix reported fourth quarter earnings of $328 million, up 9 percent year over year. Additionally on Thursday, Nutanix announced a $750 million investment from Bain Capital Private Equity.


NetApp hires new U.S. public sector chief

NetApp has hired nearly two-decade government market veteran and former IBM executive Michelle Rudnicki as vice president for the U.S. public sector.

Prior to NetApp, Rudnicki was vice president of public sector at Virtustream and led that cloud management software outfit’s delivery of offerings to government agencies.

Rudnicki also spent nearly 16 years at IBM and focused on digital services in areas such as cloud computing, mobile devices, data analytics and cognitive computing.


Poly Appoints Dave Shull President and Chief Executive Officer

Plantronics, Inc. (“Poly”) announced the appointment of Dave Shull as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective September 8, 2020.

Mr. Shull succeeds Robert Hagerty, who has served as Interim Chief Executive Officer since February 2020. Mr. Hagerty will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board, and resume his membership on the Nominating and Governance and Strategy Committees, as well as his role as Chair of the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee. Marv Tseu will continue in his role as Vice Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Shull most recently served as President and CEO of TiVo Corporation. Prior to leading TiVo, he served as CEO of The Weather Channel. Prior to serving as CEO of The Weather Channel, he held various executive roles at DISH Network/EchoStar for 10 years.


intive appoints Kannan Janardhanan as Director of Business Development, TMT in the USA

intive announced the appointment of Kannan Janardhanan as Director of Business Development, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT). In this role, Kannan will be responsible for strengthening the long-standing partnerships with existing TMT clients as well as driving customer acquisitions on the East Coast.

Kannan brings over 20 years of business development and account management experience to intive. Previously he has worked for global public-listed technology companies such as HCL, Cognizant or TCS, where he focused on business growth with existing clients and new business acquisitions across BFSI, Media, Telecom, Healthcare and Retail sectors.

The appointment of Kannan Janardhanan is part of intive’s regional expansion strategy in the US. Kannan Janardhanan will be based at intive’s New York office and will report to Mateusz Przepiórkowski, Vice President Sales and Head of TMT.


Siyata Mobile Appoints Nicholas Yaeger as VP of Sales for the Company’s Verizon Account

Siyata Mobile announced the appointment of Nicholas Yaeger as VP of Sales for the Company’s Verizon Account, effective immediately.

Mr. Yaeger is an experienced individual who has worked at Verizon in various roles and departments for more than 15 years. His extensive background in the telecommunications industry supports his most recent position as the Director of Sales at Bullitt Group Ltd., where Mr. Yaeger oversaw sales of Cat brand rugged mobile devices at Verizon.


Éric Gaulin Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Telecon Français

Larry Stevenson, Chairman of the Board of Telecon, announced the appointment of Éric Gaulin as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company and member of Telecon’s Board of Directors. He will take up his new position on September 14.

Engineering graduate from the Université de Sherbrooke, Éric Gaulin has been with Pomerleau for nearly 20 years and has held various strategic and leading roles over the years. Prior to joining Telecon, he was a member of Pomerleau’s Executive management team and held the position of Executive Vice-President for the Building Canada Division, overseeing all Pomerleau’s construction operations for Atlantic, Ontario and Western Canada.


Zain Bahrain appoints Director of Legal, Regulatory & Compliance

Zain Bahrain announced the appointment of Mrs. Nadia Aqeel to the role of Director of Legal, Regulatory & Compliance, effective 16 July 2020. Nadia joined Zain Bahrain in 2019 as Manager, Legal & Regulatory. In her new capacity, Nadia will lead Zain Bahrain’s legal team, responsible also for compliance, corporate governance, regulatory affairs and other legal matters affecting the company. She will report directly to the CEO and will serve on the company’s Management Committee.

Nadia brings with her a wealth of experience in the legal and regulatory sector and has proven herself for over 12 years in the telecommunications sector.


HMD Global appoints former OneWeb exec Alain Lejeune as leader of global operations

HMD Global appointed former OneWeb advisor Alain Lejeune in the new Global Operations Leadership role for the company.

Lejeune, who has over 25 years of experience, will be responsible for overseeing all operations for HMD Global and will lead the engineering and supply chain management side for the company. He will directly report to Florian Seiche, chief executive officer at HMD Global.

Prior to OneWeb, Lejeune worked with TCL Group and had joined as part of the company’s acquisition of Alcatel’s mobile phone division.


RingCentral Appoints Homayoun Razavi to Lead Global Service Provider Business Unit

RingCentral announced the appointment of Homayoun Razavi to lead its service provider business, globally.

Razavi will oversee the continued expansion of partnerships with mobile operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and managed service providers.

Razavi brings over 30 years of telecom experience to RingCentral including senior leadership roles at BroadSoft, Coriant, Ditech Networks, Laurel Networks, Lucent, and MCI/Verizon.


Dan Whalen exits Adtran

Cable and telecom industry vet Dan Whalen has left Adtran following a brief run as the vendor’s chief product officer.

Whalen, named to that role last September soon after the merger of CommScope and Arris, said he is leaving for family reasons, namely to provide time that he can dedicate to helping his wife start up a new business in California.

Adtran has no immediate plans to replace Whalen.


Speedcast Government Announces CEO Succession Plan, Appointing David Myers as President

The Board of Directors of UltiSat, Inc., d/b/a Speedcast Government (“SCG”), announced the appointment of David Myers as incoming President and presumptive Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Moe Abutaleb, its long-standing CEO.

Abutaleb has served as CEO since the founding of UltiSat in 2003, through its growth and success and sale to Speedcast International in 2017.

Myers is a recognized leader in government telecommunications with a track record of driving growth in public and private companies. He joins SCG from Peraton where he served as President of the Communications sector, focused on advanced networks for defense, intelligence and civil customers. Myers previously served as President and CEO of Datapath. He has held a number of senior executive roles at ITC Global, Harris CapRock, and Spacenet. Myers also served as Chairman and President of the Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) industry association.


New Relic Announces Appointment of Anne DelSanto and David Henshall to Its Board of Directors

New Relic, Inc. announced the appointment of enterprise technology executive Anne DelSanto and Citrix President and CEO David Henshall to its board of directors. In addition, current director Hope Cochran was named chair, as Peter Fenton stepped down after over 12 years of service.

Hope Cochran has served as a member of New Relic’s board since May 2018. Cochran is currently a managing director at Madrona Venture Group, where she has served as a venture partner since January 2017. Previously, she served as the chief financial officer of the gaming company King Digital Entertainment plc, which was acquired by Activision Blizzard, Inc. She served as the chief financial officer of Clearwire Corporation, a telecommunications operator, acquired by Sprint, Inc.

Anne DelSanto is a limited partner at Operator Collective and Stage 2 Capital venture funds, and a veteran technology executive with more than three decades of experience driving organizations towards exponential growth. As EVP and GM of Salesforce Platform, she led the company’s industry-leading platform services including low-code lightning builders, Heroku, IoT and AppExchange, the number one business app marketplace. Prior to Salesforce, DelSanto served as group vice president of sales engineering at Oracle.

David Henshall is president & chief executive officer at Citrix. He brings over 25 years of technology management experience, including serving as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Citrix Prior to joining Citrix, he served as chief financial officer of Rational Software Corporation, a software company acquired by IBM Corporation, and also held various finance positions at Cypress Semiconductor and Samsung. He serves as a member of the board of directors at Citrix and LogMeIn.


Telecoms specialist Mono Consultants names new CEO

Glasgow-based telecoms infrastructure advisor Mono Consultants appointed Peter Walsh as its chief executive.

The construction and utilities veteran joins after three years with Swedish firm Skanska where he was UK managing director.

Walsh succeeds Ian Marshall, who becomes managing director in charge of customer relationships.

Walsh previously worked for Amey where he delivered services for Severn Trent Water. He will join Mono in early September.


OneStream Networks Hires Masergy Vet as Global Channel Chief

Andrew Ramos has officially joined the team at OneStream Networks as Vice President of Global Channel Sales.

Before OneStream, Ramos was Masergy’s global director of Cisco Strategic Alliance. While at Masergy, he held several strategic roles with alliance partners, as well as strategic and territorial management positions for the organization. Prior to that, he held account manager roles at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, AboveNet and MCI.


William Madison Returns to Masergy

William Madison, Masergy‘s one-time channel leader of more than seven years, is coming back.

Madison is re-joining Masergy as vice president of alliances, partnerships, distributors and international markets for the Plano, Texas-based company after a short time at unified communications giant Avaya.

Madison since January has served as vice president of North America cloud sales, channel, for Avaya. Prior to his appointment at Avaya, Madison served as director of global channels for Masergy for more than seven years, as well as vice president of Masergy‘s global channel development program for two years and before that, vice president of Masergy’s strategic partner program.


NetFortris Names Shawn Berry as Vice President of National Channel Sales

NetFortris Inc. announced today that Shawn Berry, an 18-year veteran of IT and telecom channels sales, has been promoted to Vice President of Channel Sales, U.S.

In his new role, Berry will lead the NetFortris U.S. Channel Sales Team in delivering enterprise-class cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS), contact center as a service (CCaaS) and software-defined widea area networking (SD-WAN) solutions to NetFortris partners and their clients.

Uniquely, Berry has held channel roles at service provider and partner organizations over nearly two decades in telecommunications. Berry joined NetFortris in February as Regional Vice President of Channel Sales, Central & Northeast. Previously, he was Senior Partner Development Manager at Telarus, a leading technology services distributor. Earlier in his career, he held positions as National Channel Manager at Net2Phone, Director of UC&C Strategic Solutions at Level 3 Communications and Senior Channel Manager – Midwest at Earthlink Internet.


China Communications Services: Appointment of Executive Vice President

The board of directors of China Communications Services Corporation Limited announced the appointment of Mr. Liang Hongzhi as an Executive Vice President of the Company, with effect from 26 August 2020.

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Liang was the Vice President of Government and Enterprise Customers Department of China Telecommunications Corporation. Mr. Liang previously also served as a Director of Government and Enterprise Customers Department of Liaoning Branch of China Telecom, the General Manager of Benxi Branch of China Telecom, and he also served as a Member of the Standing Committee in Liangshan Prefecture and a Deputy Head of the People’s Government of Liangshan Prefecture (took a temporary post and received on-the-job training). Mr. Liang has over 20 years of management experience in the telecommunications industry.


Tilson Names Mike Dow First Chief Innovation Officer

Tilson announced Mike Dow‘s new role as Chief Innovation Officer in addition to his current role as Chief Information Officer. In this new position, Dow will lead Tilson’s Innovation efforts, which include research, development, and commercialization initiatives for Tilson’s tool set and service offerings.

As Chief Innovation Officer, Dow will leverage Tilson’s current strategic and academic partnerships, while pursuing new partnerships with other leaders in the information infrastructure innovation space – including key Tilson vendors and employees. Through this effort, Tilson will continue to invest in leveraging artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and integrated systems for infrastructure monitoring and management.

Tilson has also promoted Kelly Brewer to chief operating officer. In her new role Brewer will lead Tilson’s ongoing operational growth and oversee more than 500 professionals nationwide.

Brewer, who has been with the company since 2011, previously served as executive vice president of telecommunications, leading Tilson’s telecom units and overseeing the strategic planning and business development of its largest division.




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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