Former Sparkle CEO Elisabetta Ripa to head Italy’s Open Fiber

Elisabetta Ripa, former CEO of Sparkle, has become the new CEO of alternative Italian broadband network Open Fiber.

Elisabetta Ripa, Open Fiber

Ripa, who ran Sparkle from January 2013 to December 2014, went on to run Telecom Italia’s Telecom Argentina in 2015-16 until she joined Open Fiber’s board as an independent director.

She replaces Tommaso Pompei as CEO of the national Italian fibre broadband project. Pompei, who was 75 in August 2017, retires from Open Fiber at the end of the year.

Open Fiber, which is a direct competitor to TIM/Telecom Italia’s own national broadband project, is owned by electricity company Enel and state owned financial investor Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Open Fiber said the retirement of Pompei marked “the end of the start-up phase of the company”, with the start of work in over 50 major cities across Italy and the award of two contracts covering 6,753 municipalities.

The company has also started its 5G experiment, it added. “Open Fiber is today an important reality at the head of the most important infrastructure investment project in Italy.”

Ripa joined the Telecom Italia group in 1988, focusing on business development, international operations and finance. She moved to Telecom Italia Mobile – now TIM, and now the brand adopted across Telecom Italia in Italy and Brazil – in 1995 in the department of planning, strategic marketing and international affairs.

From 2001 to 2005, she headed the office of TIM’s CEO, and in August 2002 she also assumed the responsibility of the mobile business development division.

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