The GSMA Board has elected Chairman and CEO of Telefónica S.A., José María Álvarez-Pallete, as its new Board Chair effective today through December 2022

Álvarez-Pallete will replace Orange Group’s Stéphane Richard, who vacates the role after three years’ service.

As Board Chair, Mr Álvarez-Pallete will oversee the strategic direction of the GSMA, with the support of Board Deputy Chair, Rima Qureshi, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Verizon. The GSMA Board comprises the world’s largest operator groups and smaller independent operators with global reach.

“We very much appreciate the support and guidance that Stéphane provided during his term. His leadership was steady and supportive throughout a challenging period,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “As we look forward, we remain committed to our vision to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. It is with great pleasure that we welcome José María as he joins us to support that vision for the coming year.”

“I’m very proud to join the GSMA as Chairman of the Board, representing the global mobile ecosystem. Technologies like 5G, edge computing, cloud, cybersecurity, AI and IoT, have redefined the way society operates and interacts online, paving the way towards metaverse, web3 and a new digital era”, said Telefónica’s Chairman and CEO, José María Álvarez-Pallete. “However, increased digitisation must include responsible leadership to drive growth, job creation, sustainability, and accelerate digital inclusion. I look forward to supporting the GSMA drive these critical issues, and many others, with the GSMA Board.”

Connectivity has never been more critical. With an estimated $900 billion invested in networks between now and 2025, the mobile ecosystem continues to transform lives and significantly support global recovery. The GSMA focuses on three areas: industry knowledge, technological advancements, and human progress by bringing people together, sharing trusted expertise, and curating marketplaces for buyers and sellers. Potential is everywhere.


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