Helm takes the helm at wholesale industry leaders’ forum

Helm takes the helm at wholesale industry leaders’ forum

Annabel Helm GLF 16.9.jpg

Former GSMA events director Annabel Helm is the new head of the Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), the wholesale industry organisation managed by Capacity Media.

She took up the position this week, after more than seven years as events director at the GSMA’s Mobile 360 series of conferences.

Helm (pictured) replaces Jussi Makela, who led the GLF until he decided to move on in late 2021.

“What really excites me is the potential to start driving and delivering industry change,” she told Capacity. “It’s made some momentous progress since 2017.”

The GLF was created from the leadership of the wholesale industry who, 15 years ago, worked with Capacity to set up International Telecoms Week (ITW), the annual meeting of global wholesale companies. This year’s ITW takes place on 9-12 May at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor, Maryland, close to Washington DC.

Helm has experience of ITW because, before joining the GSMA, she worked at Capacity Media as a conference producer and a conference development manager, focusing on Metro Connect, Capacity North America and other events in the portfolio.

She took that experience to the GSMA, helping to develop its range of regional events under the Mobile 360 brand, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Helm will be working with the GLF board, chaired by Laurinda Pang of Lumen, though Pang is stepping down from her GLF role shortly. “I’m really looking forward to speaking with Marc [Halbfinger, of PCCW Global, the previous chair] and Laurinda and driving the GLF forward into the future,” said Helm. “I’m looking forward to building and publicising the work of the GLF.”

Under Halbfinger, the GLF adopted the slogan, “Keeping the World Connected”, as the industry faced the challenges of the pandemic. 

Helm said: “The GLF members have been working on some incredible initiatives from implementing industry codes of conduct to fight fraud and ensure quality of service of international IoT traffic to some incredible thought-leadership on diversity, belonging and inclusion. I am very much looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over 2022 and beyond.”

She will meet them in person at Capacity Middle East, which is due to take place in person – pandemic rules permitting – in Dubai on 28-31 March.

Helm said on LinkedIn: “I am picking up where Jussi Makela left off and hope to live up to his fantastic leadership of the GLF to date.”

One of the highlights of May’s ITW will be the publication of the results of an industry survey into diversity, inclusion and belonging.


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