The SAMENA Council held this year’s Chairmen & CEO’s Leadership Dinner in Venice on 24th May 2013. The Leadership Dinner was hosted by Telecom Italia. It served as the SAMENA Council’s signature platform, bringing together leaders of the telecommunications and content industries to discuss various prospects for cooperation and collaboration, in order to make use of the emerging business opportunities which have been created by the convergence of media. The primary motivation behind the discussion was to identify areas of further business growth and means to sustain investment in the future.
Vice Chairman of the Board
Mr. Walid Irshaid
Vice-Chairman of the Board, SAMENA Telecommunications Council.
Chief Executive Officer & President, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd.
Walid Irshaid has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd., since March 8, 2007.
Walid has been active in the telecoms sector in the Middle East & North Africa for more than 30 years. Having worked with reputable regional and international telecom operators, he has gained high reputation and profile of being one of the ICT experts for the region. Walid takes pride in his achievements as well as the respect he has earned from the regional ICT community as a whole. Above all, he treasures the valuable relationships that he has nurtured over the years with telecom operators, regulators and the network of people with influence in the industry. Throughout his career Walid has led a multitude of high-value telecom projects in several markets and his name has been associated with several success stories in the telecom sector in the region. Walid started his career with Emirates Telecom (Etisalat) in 1980. In late 1998, Walid moved to FLAG Telecom, an International Company specialized in building and operating Global Fiber optic Network as President for Middle East and Africa.
In March 2007, Walid again selected and hand-picked by Etisalat, to take charge of the incumbent Pakistan Telecom (PTCL) as Group President and CEO, where Etisalat invested nearly $ 2.7 Billion for 26% stake and management. Over the past few years, PTCL has emerged and repositioned as the leading integrated service provider in Pakistan offering wide and multiple services including Voice, Internet, TV and Media. This work necessitated taking holistic approach towards transformation with Process development and enhancement, Network rehabilitation, HR optimization and extensive training and development, rebranding and image building with specific and intensive focus on customer care and experience.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Telecom Italia - Italy
Since April 2011, Franco is Telecom Italia’s Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer after having the position of Chief Executive Officer in the previous
three-year period. After earning his degree with honors in Economics and
Political Science at the University of Turin in 1973, Mr. Bernabè worked for
two years as a post-graduate fellow at the Einaudi Foundation. He began his
professional career in 1976 as a Senior Economist at the OECD Department of
Economics and Statistics in Paris. In 1978 he joined the Planning Department
of FIAT as Chief Economist. In 1983 he joined Eni as an Assistant to the
Chairman and became subsequently the Head of Corporate Planning, Financial
Control and Corporate Development. From 1992 to 1998 Mr. Bernabè was CEO of
Eni. During his two terms, he achieved the turnaround of the company and its
successful privatization bringing Eni to be one of the largest oil companies
by market capitalization worldwide. In November 1998 he became CEO of
Telecom Italia, a position he retained until May 1999 after the acquisition
of the company by Olivetti. At the end of 1999 he founded FB Group, an
investment company active in the areas of financial advisory, ICT and
In 2004, following the merger of the financial advisory activities of FB Group with the Rothschild Group, he was appointed as Vice Chairman of Rothschild Europe, position which he left when he became CEO of Telecom Italia. Mr. Bernabè is currently Chairman of the Board of GSMA, the international organisation of mobile operators, member of the Board of Directors of PetroChina, and member of the European Roundtable. He is also Co-President of the Italy Brasil Business Council and Vice President of the Rome Industrialist and Enterprises Association with special duties for innovation and Broadband. He is member of the Governing Board of Confindustria. He has served on the Board of TPG-TNT, of FIAT, on the Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Board of the Peres Center for Peace. He has also served pro bono on different public assignments: in 1999 he was appointed by the Italian Prime Minister as a special representative of the Italian Government for the reconstruction of Kosovo; between 2001 and 2003 he was the Chairman of La Biennale di Venezia, and since 2004 he is the Chairman of the Mart Museum. In 2011 he was appointed “Cavaliere del Lavoro”. Since February 2012 Mr. Bernabè is President of the Telecom Italia Foundation.