Syniverse promotes deal veteran Andrew Davies to CEO
Interconnect and roaming specialist Syniverse has appointed Andrew Davies, a former Sprint, Vodafone and Verizon executive, as CEO.
The company, owned by private equity investor Carlyle, had been looking for a full-time CEO since June 2020, when Dean Douglas retired. Davies became Syniverse’s chief financial and administrative officer (CFAO) at the same time as Douglas left. A few weeks later the company announced a split into a global telecoms and media group and a separate carrier group.
“Honored and privileged to be CEO at Syniverse,” he posted on LinkedIn on Tuesday, though his “about” field on the social media platform still says “Excited and honoured to be the CFO @ Sprint” — a role he left when the Sprint/T-Mobile US merger was completed in April 2020.
As a privately held company — Carlyle bought it in 2010 for US$2.6 billion — there is little public information about Syniverse’s financial results. In the year ended December 2017 its revenues were $793 million, with a net loss from continuing operations of $20 million.
Davies has mainly worked in publicly listed, rather than privately held, companies through his career, having started out as an audit manager in KPMG in the UK in 1987, after graduating in maths from Imperial College London.
At Vodafone, which he joined in 2003 as director of finance in its UK consumer business unit, he has been central to some giant deals, perhaps part of his attraction to Carlyle and Syniverse.
He spent two years as CFO Vodafone Japan, a role that ended when Vodafone sold the business to SoftBank for $15 billion in March 2006.
He worked as CFO at Vodafone in Turkey and then India before moving to Verizon Wireless in 2010 — a company in which Vodafone then had a 45% stake.
The tradition was that Vodafone always provided Verizon Wireless’s CFO, and Davies stayed there for three years until 2013, when Vodafone sold its stake to the Verizon group for $130 billion.
That was one of the biggest deals in corporate history, and almost nine times the size of the Vodafone/SoftBank transaction of seven years before.
Davies then became group CFO of VimpelCom — now Veon — in Amsterdam for four years, helping to clean up the company after an ethically challenging time. One major achievement was the merger of Veon's Italian operation, Wind, with Tre, the Italian business of CK Hutchison, into Wind Tre.
He moved back to the US in 2018 after a year’s break, “resting and recharging”, to become CFO of Sprint, at one of the most challenging times in the US operator’s history.
He arrived in June 2018, a few weeks after SoftBank, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, announced a $26 billion merger with T-Mobile US, controlled by Deutsche Telekom. The aim was to create a viable competitor to AT&T and Verizon.
In spite of considerable lobbying by the opposition, the merger was completed on 1 April 2020, and Davies left Sprint two months later to join Syniverse as CFAO.