Michael Lawrey named chairman; Bill Ahlstrom named president and CEO; Keith Willetts to focus on development organization as founder
MORRISTOWN, NJ — June 2, 2014: Today TM Forum announced that Keith Willetts, TM Forum’s founder, chairman and CEO, is stepping down from executive roles to concentrate on further developing the organization as the digital world gathers pace. He will remain on the Board of Directors as founder. Michael Lawrey, executive director, Defense Engagement, Telstra Corp. Ltd., has been named as chairman, and Bill Ahlstrom, formerly president and chief operating officer, is now president and CEO, and responsible for all operations of the global, members-based organization. The Board also named Alpna Doshi, group chief information officer, Reliance Communications, and Pascal Viginier, executive vice president and group chief information officer, Orange, as joint vice chairs.
Willetts is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the business management of digital services and networks. He founded TM Forum 25 years ago and has consistently steered its growth from two member companies to almost 1,000. He temporarily re-assumed the CEO role 16 months ago to lead the Forum’s position in helping its members meet the demands of the digital world. With that transformation well underway, the time is right to strengthen the leadership team to allow him to concentrate on further development of the organization as a thought-leader, ambassador and advisor.
Willetts’ achievements have been internationally recognized, and he has been voted in the Top 100 most influential people in the communications industry on multiple occasions; awarded the GTB lifetime achievement award; honored twice in the Communications Week “Top 25” awards for industry visionaries; awarded the British Computer Society’s Gold Medal for innovation and the BT Gold Medal for innovation. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and author of influential books “The Lean Communications Provider” and “Unzipping the Digital World;” and has recently been leading the development of a number of TM Forum’s How To guides on business transformation for senior executives.
Formerly vice-chairman, Lawrey becomes chairman, leading the Forum’s Board of Directors which has overall responsibility for the organization on behalf of its members. Its key responsibilities are to determine how the Forum serves the industry; to set strategy, direction and priorities, and to guide strategic initiatives. As the Forum is a not-for-profit organization, the Board aims to have a representative balance of member industry sectors and geographies though highly experienced senior executives. This balance includes various types of service providers, software companies, equipment suppliers and systems integrators.
Ahlstrom joined the Forum team in November 2013 as president and chief operating officer. He was previously engaged with the Forum as a member serving in various capacities on the Board and Executive Committee while pursuing an executive career with companies such as Cisco, CA Technologies and Allscripts.
“Working within the TM Forum for the last 25 years and watching it grow and change has been a wonderful experience,” said Willetts. “It is a remarkable industry association, and today it ranks among the most influential organizations in the digital economy. Stepping back from the front line a bit will allow me to focus more on helping further development of the Forum in addition to writing, speaking and coaching.
“Keith has done an outstanding job in leading the Forum throughout its history and most recently transitioning to becoming the leading global industry association focused on helping its members meet the demands of the digital world,” said Lawrey. “From developing new strategic programs focused on customer engagement, digital services and agile business and IT, to transforming the Forum’s flagship events and conferences, to strengthening its renowned Collaboration program and more, Keith has made a significant impact on the organization and its members. We look forward to our continuing engagement with Keith, and also wish him the best of luck with his new endeavors.”
Michael Lawrey, chairman, TM Forum, is executive director, Defense Engagement, at Telstra, a role he leads for the CEO of Telstra to work strategically with Australia’s Department of Defense. Until taking on the Defense Engagement role, Michael was the executive director for architecture, online and media at Telstra, where he was responsible for all of Telstra’s architecture, IT and network, delivery of the Telstra’s online capability including application development, cloud and delivery of multi-media solutions. Michael holds a Diploma in Electronic Engineering, a Diploma in Industrial Electronics and has undertaken the AICD Company Directors Course.
Bill Ahlstrom, president and CEO, TM Forum, orchestrates the day-to day operations of the TM Forum. He is a veteran of more than 30 years in the definition, development, sales, implementation and support of complex software-based solutions, primarily devoted to systems and network management and security. His focus has included global manufacturing, transportation and finance, communications service providers, healthcare, energy delivery and power generation, national, regional, and local government agencies, as well as strategic alliances and partnerships with other suppliers and systems integrators. He has served in a variety of executive leadership positions in Cisco and CA Technologies, as well as in start-ups and small companies. Bill earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at American University in Washington, D.C.
About TM Forum
TM Forum is a global industry association which helps its members transform and succeed in the digital economy. The collective experience and interests of our member community, comprised of more than 85,000 experts from 1,000 global enterprises, service providers and technology suppliers drives everything we do, from thought-provoking research and publications, to practical guidance, tools and best practices, hands-on events, and training for business and IT leaders.
Through three key programs – Agile Business and IT, Open Digital Ecosystem, and Customer Engagement – we provide a unique platform for our members to connect and collaborate with individuals and groups from around the world to solve key challenges and rapidly innovate to deliver new services, improve business agility, partner for success, reduce cost and risk, and enhance customer value and loyalty. To learn more about the Forum and join our digital journey as a valued member and collaborator, please visit www.tmforum.org.
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