Changing of the guard: Elisabetta Romano becomes the new president of GLF

“I started working as a software developer taking on other technical roles with increasing responsibilities in Italy, Sweden, Belgium and Silicon Valley,” Romano said. “Now I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the development and transformation of the sector from a different angle.”

The appointment was confirmed during International Telecom Week 2022. Romano has over thirty years of experience in the ICT industry in the telecommunications, IT and media sectors and assumes the role of CEO of Telecom Italia Sparkle since 2020. Prior to that, she served as Group Director of Innovation and Partnerships.

“On behalf of the GLF Board members and the wider GLF community, I would like to thank Elisabetta for taking on this role,” said Annabel Helm, Director of GLF and GLF Community.

“The industry is at an inflection point and the actions and collaborative work undertaken within the GLF will play an increasingly important role in unlocking growth opportunities and building an effective ecosystem engagement strategy. “

“Elisabetta’s experience working with different market segments and technologies in various leadership roles throughout her career will be a tremendous asset to the GLF and our work on behalf of our members.”

Romano said, “It is a great honor to be elected president of this prestigious association.”

“As a member of ITW’s Global Leaders Forum, I have enjoyed and shared fully in recent years the principles that drive its business and the extraordinary work done to promote development and transformation in an industry where ‘coopetition’ is essential.”

Coopetition, the portmanteau of cooperation and competition, “characterizes our industry,” says Romano.

Romano succeeds outgoing GLF President Laurinda Pang, President of Global Customer Success, Wholesale and International at Lumen Technologies, who has served in the role since 2020, seeing the organization go through one of biggest global crises in decades.

During his two-year tenure, Pang led the GLF in working with governments around the world to classify telecommunications infrastructure, communications services, and their related workforces, as essential during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on his departure, Pang said: “I will always be proud of the great work the GLF has done over the past two years to keep the world connected despite the challenges posed by Covid.”

“Elisabetta understands the value of diversity and will bring a fresh perspective to the challenges ahead. She will provide valuable leadership as the GLF moves away from our traditional focus of “connecting the world” and addresses new issues, such as ESG, trust in technology, advanced automation and interoperability of new generation. »

Romano told Capacity that his top priority for the GLF is “to help drive value creation for profitable industry growth. of Web3 and decentralized intelligence”. .

In line with the GLF’s philosophy of interoperability and ubiquitous connectivity, Romano also intends to strengthen “strategic alliances with industry organizations (such as MEF, CBAN, GSMA, Layer123 and i3Forum, etc.) and create new collaboration flows with technology providers”.

She says that while the GLF has been instrumental in transforming the industry, “as the latest GLF survey results show – presented by Delta Partners at Capacity Middle East in Dubai – there is an urgent need to restore the growth in the telecommunications industry, profitable growth”.

One way to do this is to “bring technology back to the heart of the industry”.

“For example, exploring emerging technology enablers as a source of new revenue streams and focusing on increasing agility and efficiency, through automation and touchless operations,” she explains. .

It is also possible that operations will increase their market share by challenging “traditional business models and also making the most of collaboration between operators and hyperscalers”.

Edge, Web3 and decentralized intelligence aside, Romano confirms that “IoT, distributed ledger technology and AI/ML underpinning autonomous networks will be core to our strategy.”

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