Ofcom picks Google exec to head emerging technology work
The UK regulator has appointed Google’s head of connectivity partnerships as its director of emerging technology.
Simon Saunders (pictured), who is also a visiting professor at King’s College London, where he is attached to the Centre for Telecoms Research, headed Google’s moves to work with mobile operators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to improve wireless connectivity.
According to LinkedIn, that role finished this month, as he took up the role at Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator.
Saunders is a specialist in communication technology, with a technical and commercial background, having worked in industry, including at Motorola and Philips, in academia at the University of Surrey in the UK and Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, and as an advisor on communication systems for business users, operators and technology vendors.
He worked with Ofcom’s spectrum policy forum, chaired by Professor Jim Norton, and was the founding chairman, in 2007, of the Small Cell Forum. He’s been in the industry since 1992, when he joined Philips as a senior engineer in its telecoms business, just after earning his PhD in radio wave propagation at Brunel University in London.
“I can’t wait to get started at Ofcom, which is a forward-thinking regulator that understands technology,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping shape the future of Ofcom’s work to improve communications for people and businesses in the UK.”
He posted on LinkedIn: “Today was my last day at Google after more than four years. Thanks to all my Googler friends for teaching me so much and being such great colleagues. And thanks particularly to the partners I've worked with around the world for being so open and engaged as we experimented together with new connectivity technologies to help our mutual customers.”
This week Ofcom announced that Melanie Dawes will become its new chief executive, and that Terry Burns, Ofcom’s chairman, will leave the organisation as it expands its role.