Ciena’s Keri Gilder to become CCO of Colt

Ciena’s Keri Gilder to become CCO of Colt

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Keri Gilder, Ciena’s vice president and general manager for EMEA, is joining Colt Technology Services in October as chief commercial officer.

She will be heading Colt’s sales and marketing around the world, including in the US where Colt recently launched its services.

“Colt has invested heavily in its network and services and I will be helping to expand the operation,” Gilder told Capacity on Friday afternoon, before the news was officially released.

An engineer trained in management information systems, Gilder has been with equipment vendor Ciena for 16 years – and Colt will be the first carrier she’s worked for.

“Ciena has been a great company to work for and they will be a strategic partner for me in my new role. I will still be able to engage with them – just on the other side of the equation,” she said.

At Ciena Gilder was also responsible for global business development in the subsea sector. Ciena is in the process of appointing a successor, with a shortlist of candidates, and the company is expected to make an announcement by the end of October. Gilder joins Colt on 12 October.

Colt CEO Carl Grivner said: “We are excited to welcome Keri to the team. Her extensive global sales experience and customer knowledge will ensure we continue to challenge the market place, delivering on our customer promises and providing state of the art high bandwidth, on-demand solutions to support businesses digital transformations.”

Colt said that Gilder will drive Colt’s commercial strategy, leading global teams across sales, presales and marketing, as well as working with the wider organisation to ensure the company delivers on its vision of being the most customer oriented business in the industry.

Grivner added: “Keri has an outstanding track record of leading global sales organisations and working closely with partners across the wider digital ecosystem. I have no doubt that she will be an asset to Colt’s leadership team.”

Gilder told Capacity magazine in October/November 2017 that her first job was in network architecture and design, initially for the military, enterprises and large carriers.

“I designed many large carrier networks. As an engineer back in those days, you had to prove yourself many times more than your male colleagues. Telecoms is a very male-based sector and as a woman you can’t come into this industry if you’re not willing to put yourself forward.”

At Ciena, Gilder – as she discussed in a panel at Capacity Europe in 2017 – founded the company’s Women at Ciena group, which focuses on networking, career development and community outreach. There is already an organisation at Colt that focuses on diversity – and it was inspired by Ciena’s model. 


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