In its latest annual 40 under 40 awards, international telecommunications magazine Global Telecoms Business (GTB) identified 40 of the industry’s current young leaders from around the world (all under 40 years of age) who, it is anticipated, will become the telecoms industry leaders of tomorrow.
The list included various high level executives from global companies such as Tata Communications, Orange, BT Global and Bharti Airtel, and also included two South Africans.
South African-born Ryan Sher, COO at African carriers’ carrier WIOCC, was one of only four professionals in the group to be based in Africa. The other South African was Pieter de Villiers, the CEO of Clickatell.
Sher has been a key force in implementing the EASSy network, an important initiative which has brought diverse, fibre-optic international connectivity to businesses and consumers across southern and eastern Africa.
The publication identified Sher as possessing “a rare combination of technical expertise and business acumen”. It cites Sher’s drive, energy and inspirational leadership as having been instrumental in the success of EASSy, which it describes as “a landmark project — delivered early and within budget”.
Pieter de Villiers
Pieter de Villiers is the founder and CEO of Clickatell. He is responsible for establishing Clickatell as the world’s leading mobile messaging provider, enabling tens of thousands of enterprises and millions of consumers to interact, communicate and benefit via their mobile phone.
“De Villiers has led the company through a decade of robust growth and innovation by providing high value, application-to-person SMS services. With his leadership skills and knowledge, he has grown Clickatell’s global coverage immensely,” GTB said.
“With his vision, knowledge and exceptional leadership skills, De Villiers has successfully helped companies and organizations around the world provide better services to their clients while creating profits.”