20 Women to Watch 2018

19 November 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

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Which leading ladies made onto this year's top women to watch list?

Jennifer Artley, BT, director of technology, life sciences & business services 

Jennifer Artley has over 20 years’ experience in technology, sales and business development experience having previously served as vice president of global sales enablement at Equinix, 13 years at Level Communication as senior vice president of its commercial enablement group. Her recent appointment to director of technology, life sciences & business services at BT, is a promotion that it is addition to her role as president of Americas, a position entered in June 2017. Ever the champion of female equality in technology as is a member of the KPMG Women’s Voices initiative, among others.

Mary Clark, Synchronoss, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, product

Mary Clark is chief marketing officer and executive vice president, product of mobile innovation company Synchronoss. Clark joined Synchronoss in January 2018 to lead the company’s global product management, marketing and communications. Previously she was chief marketing officer and SVP of roaming at Syniverse. Since joining Synchronoss, Clark has been instrumental in transforming its cloud, messaging, digital and IoT product and platform portfolio. This includes the recent addition of Synchronoss’ Digital Smart Building platform to AT&T’s smart cities portfolio. In her 25-year career, Mary has been a champion of gender diversity.

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone, group chief financial officer

Margherita Della Valle succeeds Nick Read as group chief financial officer of Vodafone and will join its board of directors. Della Valle was appointed deputy group chief financial officer in 2015 and previously held the role of group chief financial controller, chief financial officer for the Europe region, and chief financial officer for Vodafone Italy. She joined Omnitel Pronto Italia – which later became Vodafone Italy – in 1994 and held various consumer-marketing positions in business analytics and customer base management before moving to finance. Della Valle is also a non-executive director on the board of Centrica plc.

Maria Teresa Ferrigno, Sparkle, EVP sales Western Europe

Ferrigno has been described as having an unconventional and bold attitude, all that aids her in being the leader that she is. In 2017, Ferrigno was appointed vice president of sales for western Europe at Sparkle. Over her 20-year career, Ferrigno has worked in different countries around the world adapting to different situations and cultures, as well as serving in roles from HR to marketing and sales. From head of sales in Buenos Aires to the position of CEO of Latin American Nautilus in the US, then returning to headquarters as EVP line of business IP & data.

Brynn Fowler, Oracle, director, network business governance & planning

Brynn Fowler is the director of network planning, strategy and enablement team for Oracle Cloud  based in San Francisco. In her role, she is responsible for global network planning and acquisition, contract operations as well as financial planning and operations. She describes herself as an extroverted introvert and has been vocal about women’s issues in the industry and believing that solving for a lack of diversity on teams often starts with the hiring manager. Fowler has held a number of leadership positions in the industry such as Megaport, Microsoft and X5 Solutions.

Gagun Gahir, Telstra, regional manager voice EMEAA

Gagun Gahir is the regional manager for carrier voice services at Telstra, covering EMEA and the Americas. With over 15 years of global telcoms experience, Gahir is responsible for scaling Telstra’s voice business and driving success by aligning and deepening customer relationships. She has also participated in projects to fight telecom fraud, and spearheads efforts for Telstra’s digitised experience. Prior to joining Telstra, Gahir worked for IDT Telecom where she headed the EMEA sales teams as well as took on commercial operations roles. Gahir was featured in Wholesale World’s 2018 list of 20 women to watch in telecoms.

Keri Gilder, Colt, CCO

Keri Gilder has recently been named as Colt’s chief commercial officer. In her new role she will be heading Colt’s sales and marketing around the world, including in the US where Colt recently launched its services. Previously she served as Ciena’s vice president and general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, having been with the company since 2002. In her previous role Gilder was responsible for high-bandwidth applications and services.Throughout her career, Gilder has been heavily involved in facilitating mentoring and career development programmes, Women @ Ciena during her time with the company.

Suzie Gleeson, Digital Realty, VP cloud sales strategy

As vice president of cloud sales strategy at Digital Realty, Suzie Gleeson brings 25 years of experience to the role. In addition to helping customers meet their agility, security and scalability demands daily, Gleeson is a big champion of getting more women involved in the traditionally male-dominated telco and data centre world. To this end, she recently founded Digital Realty’s Women’s Leadership Forum, a group that provides collaboration and support in a collegial environment for women at Digital Realty. She is also co-founder of the Women’s Tech Forum, an industry group with co-founders from Microsoft, Oracle and Facebook.

Katia González, BICS, head of fraud prevention operations and services

With over a decade’s experience in mobile and wholesale telecoms, González has held a number of different positions, but none so pertinent as her current role as head of fraud prevention for BICS. An expert in her field, she started her career as a consultant in the supply chain industry, and has worked hard to become a respected thought leader in the fight against telecoms fraud. González leads daily discussions between different industry bodies, liaising with them to get their buy-in on the i3Forum’s agreed ‘best practices’, and the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum’s (GLF) Code of Conduct principles.

Victoria Lamberth, ZenFi Networks, chief revenue officer

As chief revenue officer of ZenFi Networks Victoria Lamberth successfully leverages a combination of ambition and deep industry expertise to drive results. As director of business development at Lexent Metro Connect, she helped spearhead the sale of Lexent to Lightower Fiber Networks (Crown Castle) in 2010. She is also a founding partner at Metro Network Services in NYC. She is also a co-founder of ZenFi Networks, and since 2013 has overseen its operations, including a fibre network expansion of the largest public wifi network in NYC. This past year, Lamberth was integral in completing the strategic merger of ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber.

Cara Mascini, EdgeInfra, CEO

Cara Mascini is described by her peers as ambitious, eloquent and a knowledgeable entrepreneur who founded a company called EdgeInfra. The company is built on innovative concept to improve end-user experience at lower costs for all by building micro data centres to better serve and interconnect the MNO’s with geo-relevant content. Mascini has previously worked in the interconnection space with such companies as AMS-IX, Ziggo and Eurofiber. In addition completed her MBA at Bradford University whilst juggling her work and family life. She is now said to be venturing into the world of 5G, edge computing, AI to name a few.

Anne Morel, Orange International Carriers, VP global carrier sales

Anne Morel has been vice president of global carrier sales at Orange International Carriers since 2012. She oversees the global sales and business development of wholesale services for voice, data and mobile data. Prior to this, she worked as managing director for France Telecom UK, and actively contributed to the development of the France Telecom group in the UK through partnership and acquisition. Morel has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within the International Carriers management team including head of European carrier sales before taking her current role.

Annette Murphy, Zayo Group, Managing Director, Europe and SVP of Fiber Solutions

Annette Murphy brought extensive knowledge and experience when Zayo acquired Geo in 2014. She served as the senior vice president of fibre solutions, owning the P&L for this division and effectively overseeing engineering, service delivery, service management, product marketing and finance. In late 2017, Murphy was promoted to managing director of Europe. In this expanded role, she is leading a business within Zayo with an enterprise value of more than $1 billion. Murphy and her team have delivered significant growth over the past 12 to 18 months, working effectively across a large geographic area of western Europe.

Gina Nomellini, GTT, CMO

As the chief marketing officer of GTT, Gina Nomellini brings over 20 years’ experience in telecoms, with a specialisation in international. She leads all marketing and product management activities globally which includes brand management, corporate communications, marketing campaigns, product development, and product marketing. Most recently, Nomellini spearheaded the rebranding of Interoute, which was acquired by GTT in May of 2018, in 20+ locations across Europe. She has also played an instrumental role to ensure a smooth integration of Interoute and GTT more broadly - from a network, product, systems, messaging, and organisational standpoint.

Sally O’Brien, Sprint, head of global service providers

Earlier this year Sally O’Brien was named as head of global service providers at Sprint. Her most position prior to this appointment was as head of global wireline wholesale, where she managed the commercial relationships with over 400 international carriers to enable global roaming, international long distance and IP data services for Sprint. O’Brien has over 25 years’ experience in the industry, holding positions in sales management in enterprise, national accounts, domestic and international wholesale, as well as machine-to-machine. Earlier she was director of international markets for the Sprint emerging and wholesale solutions division.

Kristine Olson-Chapman, TalkTalk Business, managing director

Kristine Olson-Chapman is said to responsible for TalkTalk business as a whole. Despite her range of responsibilities, her ‘mission’ is to make the way the company interacts with its customer as simple as possible. Having joined TalkTalk in 2009, Olson-Chapman has since held a number of senior management roles within its consumer and B2B teams. Prior to this, she spent over 5 years working in general management, product and brand marketing at major multinationals companies such as American Express and Unilever. She is described as being easy to deal with, having clear communications channels and being transparent.

Funke Opeke, MainOne, CEO

Funke Opeke is founder and CEO of MainOne, which built West Africa’s first privately-owned subsea cable system that interconnected Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal in 2010. Under her leadership, MainOne has grown to become the leading provider of wholesale and enterprise connectivity and data centre services across the region and the company has played a major role in changing West Africa’s internet landscape. The company has notably embarked on an ambitious collaborative project with Avanti to build a Nigerian satellite gateway. Through MainOne’s data centre operation called MDXI Avanti’s earth station will be hosted at MDXI’s satellite farm in Lagos.

Laurinda Pang, CenturyLink, president of international and global accounts management

After the acquisition of Level 3, Laurinda Pang took over her current role at CenturyLink in November 2017, where she had been regional president of North America and Asia Pacific. While at Global Crossing she had a number of roles before Level 3 bought it, including VP of global sales operations and later chief of staff to the CEO, a member of the executive leadership team responsible for the company’s restructuring and the development of a focused business strategy for improved financial performance. Pang became chief administrative officer of Level 3, responsible for corporate strategy, communications and investor relations.

Aruna Sundararajan, Indian Government, telecoms secretary; chairman of the telecoms commission

Aruna Sundararajan is India’s telecom secretary and chair of its telecom commission. With over 30 years’ experience in the Indian telecoms industry, Sundararajan is regarded as one of the most senior servants in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Over her long standing career Sundararajan has been responsible for setting up the IT department of Kerala in 1998, establishing the IIITMK, and the InfoPark, Kochi, which changed the IT landscape of the state of Kerala and in initiating the SMART City project, and most recently she spearheaded the movement to change Indian operators’ telecoms licences to enforce net neutrality.

Dr Rosalind Thomas, SAEx International, managing director and CEO

On her LinkedIn profile Thomas is described as a person internationally recognised “for an understanding of the private sector’s role in African infrastructure financing”, having interviewed her for Capacity, I now know this to be true. As managing director and CEO of SAEx (South Atlantic Express) submarine cable she is responsible for raising investment capital for the system and oversees its development. The 25,000km, six-fibre-pair, 72Tbps cable will connect Africa and Asia to the Americas. She has previously served as CEO at eFive Telecoms and has held numerous executive and consultant roles in the finance and infrastructure space.