Special Report—Vote for the top mover and shaker in the telecom industry

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. Click here for the results.


FierceTelecom has named its top 25 movers and shakers in the telecom industry, but now readers can decide which executive reigns supreme.

The names listed below have played key roles in critical areas such as virtualization, cloud, standards and opensource initiatives. While we're almost ready to stick a fork in 2018, the top movers and shakers (listed in no particular order) will continue to have an impact on the industry going forward.

We're going to hold a round of voting so you can let us know who you think is the top executive in the telecom industry. We’re using Polldaddy.com for the actual voting, and repeated voting is prohibited with a block to cookies and IP addresses. You’re welcome to cast your vote in the poll window below. The poll will stay open for one week, and after that week is over we’ll close the poll and announce the winner.  Mike


Don Clarke, principal architect, network technologies, CableLabsClarke leads CableLabs' access network virtualization strategy and was part of BT's NFV pioneering efforts. He was also one of the founders of OPNFV, is a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute NFV ISG leadership team and chairs ETSI's Network Operator Council.

Axel Clauberg, vice president, technology innovation, Deutsche Telekom AG—Clauberg, who joined Deutsche Telekom in 2011, leads the company's IP end to end and infrastructure cloud architecture. He represents Deutsche Telekom in the Linux Foundation Networking fund governance board and the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) board and is currently chairing the TIP board.

Caroline Chan, vice president and GM, 5G Infrastructure Division, Network Platform Group, Intel—Chan is responsible for Intel's global network infrastructure strategy and solution development related to 5G wireless technology. She serves on the boards of the TIP and the xRAN organization.

andrew dugan

Andrew Dugan, CTO, CenturyLink—After a 19-year stint at Level 3, including as its CTO, Dugan is now making his mark as CenturyLink's new CTO.

Jim Fagan, director of global platforms, Telstra—Fagan, who is working on Telstra's network automation efforts, is responsible for oversight of the company's suite of managed services. Prior to Telstra, he held executive positions at Rackspace and Dell.

James Feger, vice president and general manager, service providers, F5 Networks—Prior to joining F5 this year, Feger led CenturyLink's virtualization team. Feger is now responsible for the company's service provider business worldwide.

Mazin Gilbert, vice president of advanced technology and systems, AT&T Labs—Gilbert has been AT&T's leading proponent of artificial intelligence and machine learning through the Acumos and Deep Learning projects. He was recently named governing board chair for the Deep Learning Foundation.

Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President of Amdocs Technology—Goonetilleke is responsible for the company’s overall technology vision, strategy and execution. He leads product and R&D units within Amdocs, which played a key role in the development of the ECOMP and ONAP platforms.

Shawn Hakl, senior vice president of business products, Verizon—Hakl, a member of MEF's board, has played a leading role in the development of Verizon's white box strategy, SD-WAN service, MPLS service and closed-loop automation roadmap. He is responsible for supporting enterprise, small-medium business, wireless, wholesale and channel partner business units. 

Fran Heeran, group head of cloud and automation, Vodafone—Heeran took over the reins of Vodafone's virtualization effort in July of last year when he was hired away from Netcracker. Heeran has been a leading advocate of moving beyond NFV to the cloudification of networks and services.


Ken Hu, deputy chairman, rotating CEO, Huawei Technologies—While Hu has been dealing with Huawei's troubles doing business in the U.S. and other countries, Hauwei's cloudification efforts are starting to take off.

John Isch, director of the network and voice practice, North America, Orange Business Services—With more than 25 years in the telecom industry, Isch often speaks at industry events about Orange Business Services' SD-WAN portfolio.

Arpit Joshipura, GM of Networking and Orchestration, Linux Foundation—Joshipura, a 25-year veteran of the networking industry, leads the harmonization of open networking projects within the Linux Foundation, as well as with related open-source projects and standards bodies. He's also a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Heather Kirksey, LF Networking

Heather Kirksey, vice president of ecosystem and community, LF Networking—Kirksey coordinates the OPNFV community, which is under the Linux Foundation open-source umbrella, to advance the adoption and implementation of its open-source NFV platform.

Bikash Koley, CTO, Juniper Networks—Koley is responsible for charting Juniper's technology strategy and for leading and executing the company’s technology innovations. He is an industry expert in SDN, intent-driven networking, packet-optical integration, warehouse-scale computing and large-scale data center interconnection.

Vicki Lonker, vice president, network and security product management, Verizon—Lonker's team is responsible for the portfolios of managed security services, managed network and converged services including SDN, NFV, edge solutions and strategic networks. Lonker is also a speaker at various industry events.

Neil McRae, chief architect, BT—McRae is in charge of BT Group's technology strategy, including fixed, mobile, TV and IT and systems and is leading BT's 5G and programmable networks programs. He was appointed BT Group chief architect in 2016.

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF—Menezes is focused on cloud scale architectures, real-time media networks, SDN, NFV and MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO). He is a former principal from Microsoft Skype for Business Global Carrier Group where he spent close to 10 years working on media and network technologies.

Randy Levensalor, leading member, network virtualization team, CableLabs—Levensalor is leading CableLabs' SDN/NFV Application Development Platform and Stack Project, which is designed to provide a common framework for MSOs' virtualization efforts. Levensalor, who joined CableLabs in 2014, is working with various open-source communities including OpenStack, OpenDaylight and OPNFV on reference implementations.

Chris Rice, senior vice president, domain 2.0 architecture and design, AT&T Labs—Rice played a key role in AT&T's Domain 2.0 virtualization architecture and has been a vocal proponent of AT&T's ECOMP and the Linux Foundation's ONAP platforms for orchestration and automation.

Kevin O'Toole, senior vice president, product management, Comcast Business—O'Toole is in charge of Comcast Business' business services wing, which includes the launch of its SD-WAN service. O'Toole is a board member of MEF. 

Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco—Robbins took over as CEO in 2015 and was elected chairman of the board two years later. Robbins is overseeing Cisco's move from hardware-based revenues to more software-centric, licensing revenue models.

Ralph Santitoro, head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications—At Fujitsu, Santitoro created and leads its SDN/NFV Solutions Practice where he also serves as principal consultant. Santitoro is a MEF Distinguished Fellow, founding member serving on the board of directors, and co-chairs the MEF’s global marketing committee.

Timon Sloane, vice president of marketing and ecosystem, Open Networking Foundation—Sloane is leading the marketing efforts for a reboot at ONF that includes driving deployments of CORD, SDN and NFV across operator-members' networks.

Mirko Voltolini, head of network on demand, Colt Technology Services—Voltolini has spearheaded Colt's overhaul of its systems and infrastructure over the past few years. He's a member of MEF's board and has been a leading proponent of intercarrier services using MEF's LSO APIs.