Google Cloud’s Deshmukh joins Colt to take women to majority

Google Cloud’s Deshmukh joins Colt to take women to the majority

17 May 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Colt has recruited Google Cloud’s Jaya Deshmukh as its new executive VP of strategy and transformation, running its newly announced three-year strategy.

Her appointment means that five of the top nine management positions in Colt are held by women.

Deshmukh (pictured) has moved to Colt from Google Cloud, which she joined in October 2019 as head of strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that she was at Microsoft in the UK, as part of its global team on digital, industry and AI market strategy.

Gilder announced Colt’s strategy in November, months after she became CEO of the company. The changes announced then will see the business arranged across seven pillars, with four areas of focus, including capturing the SD WAN market; co-building, co-creating and co-developing with cloud builders; doubling down on the customer experience; and optimising foundations for future sustainability.

London-based Deshmukh said: “Being able to join an organisation as it embarks on its next strategic journey is always exhilarating because it gives the opportunity to really collaborate with partners and customers to ensure we are fully aligned and can truly drive growth for their businesses.”

Gilder said of Deshmukh: “Her recent experience centring around digital transformation and cloud makes her the perfect fit to lead this new team within Colt, pushing them to continue to innovate and drive our wider organisation forward.”

She appointed three other executives into Colt’s leadership team last October, including Ashish Surti, EVP for technology and security, Robin Farnan, EVP for operations and engineering, and Avijit Singh as her chief of staff.

Apart from those three, the only other man in the nine-member leadership team is Gary Carr, the CFO, appointed in July 2019.

Gilder and Deshmukh have three women colleagues on the team: Paula Cogan, EVP of sales, marketing and customer relationship management; Caroline Griffin Pain as general counsel; and Tessa Raum as EVP for HR.