Special Advisor to the Chairman
Ross Ireland spent 38 years at SBC Communications, most recently as senior executive vice president of services and CTO. In this capacity he was responsible for network planning and engineering, SBC Laboratories, procurement, real estate, the network staff groups, and for a short time IT. Mr. Ireland also ran six of the company’s national businesses, including SBC Long Distance, SBC Paging, SBC Operator Services, SBC Public Communications, SBC Video Services, and SBC Messaging. Mr Ireland retired in May 2004 after 14 years as CTO. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Neustar Incorporated, Matisse Networks, and AdTran Corporation. He is also a member of Accenture’s Communications and High Tech Advisory Board and is a retained advisor for Focus Ventures. Mr. Ireland studied engineering at City College of San Francisco and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program.
ASSIA Advisory Board
Pierre-Alan Allemand has been executive vice president for the Network of SFR since 2008. Prior to his current position, Mr. Allemand was network vice president of the Neuf Cegetel alternative carrier. He joined LDCOM, a carriers’ carrier company, in 1999 and was in charge of building the long haul infrastructure before holding various positions within the Carriers Division and being appointed head of the IP Business Unit in 2004. After his graduation in Construction from the Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du Bâtiment et de l’Industrie (ESTP Paris), Mr. Allemand joined the Spie group.
Chalan Aras is currently vice president and general manager at Citrix Systems overseeing the Citrix Branch Repeater and CloudBridge products within the Cloud Networking Group. Dr. Aras brings 15 years of experience and domain expertise in cloud services, service provider and enterprise networking, and cellular and Wi-Fi mobility to ASSIA’s Advisory Board. Prior to Citrix, Dr. Aras was vice president of marketing and product management for the wireless networking business unit at Cisco, and held similar roles at Polycom, Ditech Networks, Jetstream Communications and IBM. He holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, and a PhD in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Nediljko Bilić is currently the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Czech Republic, based in Prague. Previously, he was professor of electrical engineering on both the Traffic and Communications and Economics faculties in Sarajevo, where he taught digital and mobile telecommunications, wireless network access, and computer science for business applications. For about 40 years he also held senior executive positions at Energoinvest, Elektroprivreda B&H, and PTT BiH in Sarajevo, both in an advisory and management capacity. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Belgrade University, an MSc from Sarajevo University, and a PhD in Electrotechnics and Management from Sarajevo University.
Jan Bosch is professor of software engineering and co-director of the Software Research Center at Chalmers University Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously, he worked as vice president of engineering process at Intuit, where he also led Intuit's Open Innovation efforts and headed the central mobile technologies team. Before Intuit, he was head of the Software and Application Technologies Laboratory at Nokia Research Center, Finland. Prior to joining Nokia, he headed the software engineering research group at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he holds a professorship in software engineering. As a consultant, professor and staff member, Dr. Bosch has worked on strategic software architecture and engineering challenges for many companies, including Philips, Thales Naval Netherlands, Robert Bosch GmbH, Siemens, Nokia, Ericsson, Tellabs, Avaya, Tieto Enator and Det Norska Veritas. He received an MSc degree from the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and a PhD degree from Lund University, Sweden.
Dave Burstein has been editor of DSL Prime since its inception in 1999. He wrote DSL: A Tech Brief (Wiley 2002) and Web Video: Making It Great, Getting It Noticed (Peachpit, 2008). His analysis of the industry has been quoted in numerous publications, including the New York and Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and government studies. He chaired three Fast Net Futures conferences, which featured the first public demonstrations of 100 megabit DSL.
Bülent Çelebi is the CEO and chairman for wireless company AirTies, which develops and markets residential media gateways, set top boxes and wireless network devices that stream HD video to multiple TVs, PCs, and game counsels. Prior to co-founding AirTies, Mr. Celebi served as the CEO of Scenix/Ubicom where he restructured the company to become a leader in network processors for WLAN applications. Previously, he was vice president and GM at Analog Devices, running a successful $250 million division. Prior to that he worked at National Semiconductor initially as Marketing Director for Asia and later returned to the U.S. where he became the driving force behind the technology that enabled multifunction printer/fax/scanner devices. He played an active role in making the company the leader in the 10/100 Mbps Ethernet market. Red Herring Magazine recognized Mr. Celebi as one of the “Top 10 Innovators” for his success in technical innovations. He attended the University of California, Berkeley for electronics and computer engineering, as well as the Stanford/AEA executive program.
Giuseppe (Beppe) Donagemma
Beppe Donagemma is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in the information and communications technology industry and has an extensive background in global account management and international corporate leadership. Currently, he is the chairman of Electro Power Systems, a fuel cells producer. He is also a board member of E-blink, a wireless front-hauling company, and Linko, an application software innovator, and serves as an advisor to several other venture capital and private equity companies. Previously, he was vice president for Mobile Networks at Nokia with global responsibility, and prior to that served as EVP/general manager for the Nokia Siemens Networks European region. Mr. Donagemma holds a degree in Electronic Engineering, as well as a non-degree Executive Masters in Strategy and Leadership.
Wylie Etscheid retired from the telecom industry after 40 years in key large operations and engineering positions. Most recently, he spent six years at ASSIA serving as president and chief operations officer from 2005 to 2008, and then as general manager of North American sales from 2009 to 2011. During this time, he helped grow the company’s customer base by selling ASSIA DSL Expresse to four major telecommunication companies. Prior to joining ASSIA, Mr. Etscheid was executive vice president of business development at Tollgrade Communications and senior vice president and general manager for Telco Access Products at Westell, Inc. He also spent 29 years working at Ameritech/SBC and was vice president of engineering midwest at the time of his retirement in 2000.
Paul Lacouture retired in 2007 as executive vice president of engineering and technology for Verizon Telecom, a telecommunications services provider. From 2000 to 2006, he was president of the Verizon Network Services Group. Prior to the Bell Atlantic/GTE merger in July 2000, Mr. Lacouture was president of the Network Services group at Bell Atlantic. He also serves on the Board of Directors at NeuStar.
Luis Lada Diaz
Luis Lada Diaz was Telefónica CTO in the 1980’s, managing director of AMPER, Telefónica Móviles Chairman, Telefónica de España Chairman and a member of many Boards of Directors of technology companies. Mr. Lada Diaz is currently an independent consultant and serves on several Boards, including: Telefónica España, Telefónica Latinoamérica, Telefónica I+D, Telefónica Venezuela, Telefónica O2 Czech Republic, Indra, SIDSA, Ydilo, and TELDAT, as well as on some foundations and think tanks. He is a telecommunication engineer from the Madrid Polytechnic University and a Fellow of Spain’s Royal Academy of Engineering.
François G. Laugier
François Laugier is a corporate transactions and international attorney who specializes in technology-related transactions while still advising clients in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Based in Silicon Valley for the past 20 years, Mr. Laugier has handled numerous cross-border acquisitions and equity financings and brought many companies from their inception to successful exits for founders and investors alike. He advises companies in all aspects of corporate law, including entity formation, equity financing, technology licensing, corporate structure inversions ("flips"), mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, stock options, employment, commercial leasing, intellectual property protection, negotiation and drafting of virtually any business contract. Mr. Laugier is admitted to practice in California , Washington D.C., and in the European Union. He is a partner, and an elected director of RMKB, a 120-attorney law firm with offices in California (4) New York (1) Boston (1) and affiliates in Paris and Hong-Kong. He is also the local President of the foreign trade advisors ("Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur") to the French Ministry of Economy and Finances. Mr. Laugier graduated from Université de Montpellier and University of San Diego law schools.
Dominique Mégret is head of Swisscom Ventures, which he started in 2005. He joined Swisscom, the leading Swiss telecommunications group and owner of Fastweb in Italy, in 2002 as head of Group Strategy. Previously, Mr. Mégret was an entrepreneur in the United Kingdom (CEO of Kick-Start Ventures), strategy consultant in the European Telecom industry, and country manager for an IT company in Germany. He currently serves on the boards of several technology companies, including Transmedia SA, iccoss SA, and me2me AG. In addition, he serves on the boards of venture capital funds, including Mona Lisa AG/Vinci Capital and KSV. Mr. Mégret holds a BA from Hons in economics/european business administration and an MBA from Insead.
Dominique Pitteloud is a Partner at Endeavour Vision and has been working in venture capital since 2001. Mr. Pitteloud focuses on investments in the Internet, communication and cloud computing sectors, specializing in wireless technologies. He has led or co-led investments in Kobojo, Amplidata, CommProve (where he is a director), as well as Staccato Communications, Media Lario Technologies, Sphera, eProject, Native Networks (sold to Alcatel) and M7 (sold to BEA). Mr. Pitteloud is also an independent director with Sequans Communications (SQNS). Prior to venture capital, Mr. Pitteloud was vice president of marketing at 8x8, a Silicon Valley telecommunication company. He joined 8x8 in 1999 as part of the acquisition of Odisei, a telecommunication start-up from Sophia Antipolis, France. Prior to Odisei, Mr. Pitteloud held various engineering and management positions at Logitech, a market leader in computer peripherals, including Vice President of the scanner and video camera business units. Mr. Pitteloud received a BSc degree in telecommunications from the School of Business and Engineering Vaud, Switzerland and a MBA from Santa Clara University, USA.
Mick Reeve is a seasoned telecom professional with a proven track record in technical innovation. Following a 36-year career with British Telecom (BT), Mr. Reeve retired in 2006 and is now consulting within the telecom industry. He was chief architect for BT and led the standards program, directing the architecture for BT’s 21st Century Network and ensuring its alignment with global standards. He is now advising a range of clients in the industry, including a major global vendor, a venture capitalist, and the UK regulator. Mr. Reeve is a Fellow of the IEC and a Fellow of the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering.
Ingolf Ruh has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and enterprise software industries, where he has focused on building teams, developing new business globally, developing new markets, establishing strategic partnerships, and setting up companies for growth. Mr. Ruh held numerous senior executive positions running sales, services, marketing, channel management, and business operations in Aepona, Alcatel-Lucent, Motive Communications, Tivoli Systems, and IBM. Mr. Ruh holds a Dipl.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering and Communications Electronics from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. He is based in Germany.
Vicente San Miguel Maza
Vicente San Miguel Maza has been GCTO of Telefónica Corporation since 2008, with responsibilities for the network evolution of the entire Telefónica footprint. Previously, Mr. Miguel served as vice president of network development for Telefónica de España where he actively participated in a new model to develop and deploy broadband networks and services including Imagenio (IPTV). Prior to Telefónica de España, he served as director of Telefónica Corporation and participated in the creation of the Advanced Purchasing System for the Telefónica Group with global purchasing responsibilities for all wireline and wireless infrastructures in more than 30 Telefónica companies. Before that he worked as director of technology and business development of private satellite networks at Telefónica Sistemas de Satélites in Europe and Latin America. Mr. Miguel also worked with Telefónica Sistemas focused on telecommunications systems for enterprise customers. He holds a degree in telecommunications engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
Olivier Sichel is a partner at Sofinnova Ventures. Prior to Sofinnova he held pivotal leadership roles at Wanadoo, a European leader in Internet and directories. As chairman he restructured Wanadoo’s activities in Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and developed the company’s online Yellow Pages directory. By the time Wanadoo was merged with France Telecom in a mixed public offering in 2004, the company’s operating profit had quadrupled and its value increased to €13 billion. Following the integration of Wanadoo into the France Telecom group, Mr. Sichel took over the fixed-line and Internet activities, merging all teams throughout Europe. As a result, France Telecom moved up from ninth to second place worldwide in ADSL between 2003 and 2005, during which time Mr. Sichel oversaw the launch of numerous innovative products breaking with the operator’s traditional lines of business, such as Livebox, VOIP, and broadband multiservice offerings. Previously, Mr. Sichel served as CEO of Alapage.com, which he positioned as a leading operator in French e-commerce, doubling sales and leading the company to profitability. He graduated from Essec, a French business school, ENA (the Ecole Nationale d’Administration), and was a former Inspecteur des Finances.
Hemant Thapar is the CEO and founder of Link_A_Media Devices, a fully-owned subsidiary of SK Hynix since August 2012. Previously, he was founder and CEO of DataPath Systems, and held the role of senior vice president after its acquisition by LSI Logic Corporation. During his early career, Dr. Thapar was at Bell Telephone Laboratories and IBM, where he made pioneering contributions in the areas of circuit-switched networking, data communications, and data storage. In addition to receiving three best paper awards for work on high-speed data transmission and high-density data storage, he is an IEEE Fellow and serves on the advisory board of the Ambala College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in India. Dr. Thapar holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
Having spent his entire career in IT and telecom, Rob Timmermans is currently serving as the CEO of IMPEQ Technologies, a leading provider of video solutions and services for digital television network operations across the globe. Prior to IMPEQ, Mr. Timmermans served as a regional director of KPN in the Netherlands. Before KPN, he was CEO of NOZEMA Broadcast Services, which was subsequently acquired by KPN. Previously, Mr. Timmermans was CEO of Alcatel in the Netherlands, where KPN and KPNQuest were the most important customers. He started his career with Siemens, where he held several management positions, including director of the Telecoms Division and CEO of Siemens - Nixdorf. He graduated in telecom from Eindhoven University.