Six mobile people to watch

Six mobile people to watch


One of the most powerful forces in our rapidly digitising world is the mobile network and all that it carries under its hypothetical wings. With that in mind, Capacity is proud to present a list of six mobile heads to watch in the new decade. Compiled by Abigail Opiah.

Rima Qureshi

Verizon (North America)

Executive vice president and chief strategy officer

Qureshi is responsible for development and implementation of Verizon’s overall corporate strategy, business development, partnerships, strategic investments and acquisitions. Before joining Verizon in November 2017, she was president and CEO of Ericsson North America. Qureshi has extensive experience in managing various business segments and in acquisitions and integration. Her more than two decades in the mobile coms industry include over 15 years of global experience. She is currently a board member of MasterCard Incorporated and GSMA, the global industry association.

Ajay Chitkara

Airtel Business (Asia Pacific)

Director and CEO

Chitkara has been with Airtel since 2001 and is credited with building brand Airtel in the global wholesale segment. Under his leadership, Global Business grew in top line to become a billion dollar business, while EBIT margins jumped five-fold since 2013. Chitkara has been credited with building Airtel’s brand on the global stage, growing the network to reach more than 50 countries through submarine and terrestrial mediums. He has positioned India as an important transit services hub of data and voice business in the region, with Airtel now an undisputed leader in this space.

Silvio Pegado

Google (LATAM)

Head of Business Development, Messaging RCS/RBM in LatAm

Pegado has over 17 years’ of experience in the telephony and technology market. He joined Google three years ago to lead RCS/RBM messaging carrier service partnerships in Latin America. Previously he spent three years at Twitter as the head of business development in Brazil, where he was responsible for all LATAM business development partnerships. There, he provided customer service and DM Automation consultancy to brands and telco providers. Last year, Google completed a 10,000km subsea cable linking California to Chile, a key step in its plans to bolster global cloud infrastructure.

Shameel Joosub

Vodacom (Africa)


Joosub was previously the MD of Vodacom South Africa between 2005 and 2011 prior to taking up the position as CEO of Vodafone Spain. Before that, he was the MD of Vodacom Service Provider Company from 2000 to 2005, and MD of Vodacom Equipment Company from 1998. He served on the Vodacom Group Board from 2000 until March 2011, when he was seconded to Spain. Vodacom Group sees its Africa financial-services business as a cornerstone of growth. An estimated 84% of Africans will have access to a mobile connection within the next five years, according GSMA research.

Didier Lelièvre 

Orange (Europe)

Director mobile wholesale and interconnection

In 2000 he became responsible for the Orange mobile network of the southwest region of France. In 2002, he took responsibility for customer service for Orange France and after that, operational experience. He was the deputy CEO of Sofrecom for three years then in 2009, took on the role of chief information technology and network officer at Orange Jordan. Recently, Orange France was selected by Ericsson to deploy 5G RAN in three major French regions, including Paris, and modernise its existing 2G, 3G and 4G radio access network.

Nabil Baccouche

Etisalat (Middle East)

VP international roaming and mobile services

Baccouche was appointed VP of international roaming and mobile services at Etisalat in 2014, having spent three years at Syniverse as VP and MD, MEA, where he fortified key relationships, hosting workshops on Wifi, real-time experience management and advanced messaging solutions, and securing deals for service bundles spanning Syniverse’s line of business. Etisalat has been trialling Parallel Wireless’ 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G OpenRAN solution across its Middle Eastern and African networks, which cover 148 million subscribers.

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