Light Reading

Vodafone Steals CenturyLink's CTO

Ray Le Maistre
1/31/2014
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Veteran telecom executive Matt Beal is changing his email address once more, this time moving from CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) to Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), where he will take a new role in the CTO's office at the mobile giant.

Light Reading was tipped off about the move late Thursday and both operators confirmed that Beal, currently CTO/EVP of product development and corporate strategy at CenturyLink, was on the move.

Vodafone said Beal will start as Group Technology Architecture Director on April 1, reporting to Kevin Salvadori, Group Technology Strategy & Operations director at Vodafone, where the CTO's office is headed by Steve Pusey. Beal is expected to be located in the UK.

The appointment is part of Vodafone's CTO team reshuffle. (See Vodafone to Revamp Top Tech Team.)

Beal joined CenturyLink, the third-largest telco in the US, in 2008 following his departure from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), where he had been instrumental in the development of the British operator's 21CN strategy. (See BT Exec Exit.)

CenturyLink told Light Reading: "Matt has worked for CenturyLink during a period of significant transformation for our company as we integrated several large acquisitions and made significant investments in expanding and enhancing our global network and IT hosting and cloud platforms. We wish him well regarding his new endeavor."

Matt, Meet Matt
Matt Beal (right) poses with former BT colleague Matt Bross (left) in 2011.
Matt Beal (right) poses with former BT colleague Matt Bross (left) in 2011.

Beal is well-known in telecom executive circles, having previously served in multiple top positions at BT, where among other things he headed the implementation of the ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful 21CN strategy, and at US competitive carrier Wiltel, where he was chief architect during the buildout of its national network. Wiltel was later acquired by Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT)

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, and Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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C Chappell
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C Chappell,
User Rank: Blogger
2/3/2014 | 10:36:23 AM
Interesting experience
Given Beal's background, might he be coming onboard to integrate the C&W/Tata Comms networks - should the Vodafone acquisition of Tata pan out? 
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/31/2014 | 11:52:01 AM
Re: Interesting experience...
Sounds like similar challenges to his time at CenturyLink. I wonder if the Vodafone technologists ill eventually have AT&T looking over their shoulders. AT&T nixed that long-rumored deal recently, but we may have not heard the last of it.
Ray@LR
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Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
1/31/2014 | 11:26:30 AM
Interesting experience...
So, Beal is a smart guy, very personable, has a welter of experience in packet (Ethernet, IP) networking and fixed broadband....

Vodafone is pursuing an integrated mobile/fixed strategy and is buying cable operators around Europe as it moves its mobile operations to 4g (hence, IP).... 

Good match.

And Beal still has good connections in UK and knows here the good pubs are from his time at BT.
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