Syniverse splits operations as strategy head joins Iconectiv

Syniverse splits operations under new leader, as head of strategy joins Iconectiv

30 June 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Syniverse, the mobile systems company owned by the Carlyle Group, has reshuffled its management following the retirement of Dean Douglas, who has been CEO since 2018.

James Attwood, the Carlyle managing director who has been non-executive chairman of Syniverse, is now executive chairman and will take over Douglas’s responsibilities. New York-based Attwood (pictured) joined private equity investor Carlyle in November 2000 and he heads its global telecommunications and media group.

“The global telecommunications industry is evolving quickly, and we are confident this new structure will strengthen Syniverse’s ability to meet changing customer needs and drive profitable growth,” said Attwood, who has split the company into two separate business units, carrier and enterprise.

The carrier business will be headed by John McRae, former group vice president and general manager of operations for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. CTO Chris Rivera will be president of Syniverse’s enterprise division. Two weeks ago Syniverse appointed Andew Davies, a former Vodafone executive who was CFO of Verizon Wireless, Veon and latterly Sprint, as its chief financial and administrative officer. 

Attwood said: “Organising the company along two business segments will allow us to more closely link our go-to-market strategy, product development and operations with the distinct needs of our carrier and enterprise customers.”

At the same time, Michael O’Brien, Syniverse’s group vice president of strategy and corporate development, left last month to join Iconectiv, the company – 83% owned by Ericsson – that handles number portability and call routing in the US network. 

Ericsson bought the company, then called Telcordia, in 2011 for $1.15 billion; until 1996 Telcordia had been called Bellcore and was owned by the US telcos jointly, before it became an independent operation. Recent reports have suggested Ericsson is being told to sell the business. 

O’Brien’s task at Iconectiv will be to expand the company’s business-to-consumer (B2C) activities, said CEO Richard Jacowleff: “Iconectiv is fully committed to expanding our leadership in trusted communications. In order to do that we are adding experts to the team who can help move that strategy forward – especially in the B2C market.”