Mobile industry association the GSMA has appointed Tele2 president and CEO Mats Granryd as its new Director General, following the departure of Anne Bouverot last month.
53-year-old Granryd has been at the helm of European operator Tele2 for five years. In that time he has established Tele2 as a so-called “value champion” and something of a disruptor in the region.
Granryd has been keen to talk up Tele2’s data-centric strategy and in an interview with Mobile World Live (MWL) earlier this year stated he was “not a big believer” in the quadplay approach favoured by many of the world’s tier one mobile operators.
Indeed, he told MWL that being a value champion also means more focus on customer care and transparency, which, he admitted, operators have not been very good at. “Unpleasant things, such as hidden fees and bill shock, drag the industry down,” he said during an interview at Mobile World Congress.
In the last year Granryd has overseen a move to cut the number of markets in which Tele2 operates from 24 to nine – including Sweden, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan – and embarked on its ‘Challenger Program’ to help it battle larger rivals.
Granryd will succeed Anne Bouverot, who has become the chair and CEO of security and identity solution vendor Morpho, a France-headquartered business with more than 8,000 employees and a turnover of around €1.5 billion.
Granryd will assume leadership of the GSMA on 1 January 2016. The GSMA’s CTO Alex Sinclair will continue to serve as Acting Director General (in addition to his CTO role) until the new year. In keeping with the responsibilities of all previous GSMA heads, Granryd will also be a member of the 25-strong GSMA Board.
Prior to his tenure at Tele2, Granryd spent 15 years in a variety of roles at Ericsson, most recently as Head of Northern Europe and Central Asia.
Tele2 said it has promoted CFO Allison Kirkby to CEO effective from 1 September 2015 (Granryd will stay until the end of 2015, “facilitating an effective transition process”).