Bharti Enterprises chief Sunil Mittal to take the helm at GSMA

Sunil Mittal
Sunil Mittal

The GSMA has elected Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, as its new chairman for the two-year period from January 2017 through December 2018.

As GSMA chairman, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organization.

The first Indian to serve as GSMA chairman, Mittal also took over as chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) early this year. He already serves on the boards and councils of several international bodies and think-tanks like the World Economic Forum (WEF), Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Broadband Commission, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council – Board of Dean’s Advisors at HBS, International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Prime Minister of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. He is also a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the Board of Qatar Foundation Endowment.

“I am delighted to be elected as chairman of the GSMA, and look forward to working closely with the rest of the Board, the GSMA leadership team and our entire membership to address the critical issues facing our industry and our customers,” Mittal said in a statement. “In a relatively brief period of time, mobile has had a transformational impact on individuals, businesses, industries and societies, contributing significantly to local economies and improving the lives of billions around the world. I am excited about what the next chapter holds for us, as we work to connect everyone and everything to a better future.”

The GSMA also elected the new members of the 26-member Board and re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, executive VP of Innovation for Orange Group as deputy chair for the two-year period.

The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives from the world’s largest operator groups as well as smaller, independent operators with global representation. The GSMA’s Director General Mats Granryd also serves on the GSMA Board. The GSMA Board for the 2017-2018 term comprises:

  • Juan Carlos Archila, Executive Vice President, International Relationships, América Móvil
  • Bill Hague, Executive Vice President-Global Connection Management, AT&T Mobility
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
  • Sha Yuejia, Executive Director and Vice President, China Mobile
  • Sun Kangmin, Executive Director and Executive Vice President, China Telecom
  • Lu Yimin, President and Vice Chairman, China Unicom
  • Wolfgang Kopf, Senior Vice President, Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom
  • Hatem Dowidar, CEO International, Etisalat
  • Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
  • Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Europe, Hutchison
  • Takashi Tanaka, President, KDDI
  • Eelco Blok, CEO, KPN
  • Chang-Gyu Hwang, Chairman and CEO, KT Corporation
  • Mauricio Ramos, CEO, Millicom
  • Phuthuma Nhleko, Chairman and Acting CEO, MTN Group
  • Andrei Dubovskov, President, MTS
  • Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, President and CEO, NTT DOCOMO
  • Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Orange Group
  • Dong-Hyun Jang, President and CEO, SK Telecom
  • Julio Linares López, Vice President of the Board, Telefónica
  • Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor Group
  • Johan Dennelind, President and CEO, Telia Company
  • Kaan Terzioğlu, CEO, Turkcell
  • Roy Chestnutt, Chief Strategy Officer, Verizon
  • Serpil Timuray, Group Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer, Vodafone
  • Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group

Current GSMA chairman Jon Fredrik Baksaas will step down from the board at the end of 2016, after holding this position for the past three years. Baksaas was elected as a member of the GSMA Board in 2008.

“With nearly 4.8 billion individuals around the world subscribing to mobile services, it is the most pervasive and fast-growing platform of users ever built. It is now accessible to billions in both developing and developed markets, providing life-enhancing services and enabling new socio-economic opportunities for all,” commented Baksaas. “The mobile industry is at the very heart of the world’s digital transformation, driving efforts to make the world a better place, in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has been a true privilege to serve on the GSMA Board for eight years, the last three as Chair. I wish the new Board and Chair, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the very best of luck as the GSMA focuses on extending global platform capabilities, such as GSMA Mobile Connect, to billions of users around the globe.”

The announcement was made during the inaugural GSMA Mobile 360 – India event in New Delhi, which was hosted by Bharti Airtel, along with a meeting of the GSMA Board.

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