Meet ourKeynote Speakers

Get ready to learn and be inspired by recognisable names from our industry. Join the world’s most successful leaders, innovators and boundary-breaking pioneers at Connected Impact.

*David Christopher*Executive Vice President and General Manager –5G Ecosystem Development, AT&T Communications, LLC

David ChristopherExecutive Vice President and General Manager –5G Ecosystem Development, AT&T Communications, LLC

David Christopher serves as executive vice president and general manager of partnerships and 5G ecosystem development at AT&T.

He has overall responsibility for growing new revenue streams and business models for 5G and developing and managing AT&T’s third-party service and content partnerships. This includes strategy and business development, and partner operations. His team is also responsible for AT&T’s MVNO and resale business and operations.

Prior to his current role, and for the past 4 years, Christopher led the P&L for AT&T’s largest business unit, AT&T Mobility, which included management and operations for AT&T’s $72B wireless business comprised of postpaid, prepaid and resale lines of business. He also oversaw the operation of thousands of retail stores across the country under the AT&T and Cricket brands. Additionally, during his tenure, he also had overall responsibility for DIRECTV and AT&T’s broadband businesses.

David also held the role of Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T Mobilitywhere he led all marketing, advertising and merchandizing functions. He began his career with AT&T as VP of Product Management in its joint venture, Cingular Wireless.

Before joining AT&T, he was vice president, Product Marketing and Management at Palm, which served as an early harbinger to the modern-day smartphone. He also worked for Apple and began his career with Sara Lee Corporation in Barcelona, Spain and Gent, Belgium.

David currently serves as chairman of CTIA, which represents the wireless communications industry before congress, state legislatures, the Federal Communications Commission, and other federal and state administrative agencies on matters of public policy.

He has also served as Chairman of the Ad Council, which brings together the marketing, advertising, and media industries to combat pressing social issues.

David holds a bachelors degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. David, his wife, and their two daughters live in Los Angeles.

*Eric Garcetti* Mayor of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti is a fourth-generation Angeleno and the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley — the son of public servants and the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe — Mayor Garcetti’s life has been shaped by a deep commitment to the core values of justice, dignity, and equality for all people.

These ideals have fueled the Mayor’s relentless drive to fulfill our common obligation: to give children and families of every race, faith, background, and income the chance to get a good education, live on safe streets, earn a decent wage, breathe clean air and drink clean water, receive affordable medical and child care, and build a future of their own choosing.

Angelenos are experiencing the remarkable results of his vision and leadership: the Mayor led and won a campaign to pass the boldest local infrastructure initiative in American history, funding a once-in-a-generation expansion of public transportation. He launched the L.A. College Promise, one of the most ambitious higher education access programs in the nation — serving more than 15,000 students, many of whom are overcoming poverty and are the first in their families to pursue the dream of higher education. He is confronting a homelessness crisis by leading an unprecedented regional alliance committed to getting people off the streets and ending chronic homelessness. He put more money in workers’ pockets by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and cut business taxes to help drive a historic economic recovery that has created a record number of jobs in legacy industries like entertainment and aerospace. And in 2018, he formed a historic partnership with the philanthropic sector to refurbish nearly 350 athletic courts across the city — to support his plan for universal sports and fitness programs that are both free and local for all children in Los Angeles.

The Mayor’s leadership is making an extraordinary impact on the national and international stages: he rallied more than 400 mayors in cities across America to adopt the Paris Climate agreement after the Trump Administration pulled out of the pact. He led the first National Day of Action on Immigration, and has put unprecedented local resources toward providing Dreamers and others with legal aid to fight deportation. He signed America’s strongest earthquake retrofit law to protect thousands of people’s lives from natural disasters. And he successfully led the bid

*Erik Greupner*Chief Executive Officer, Padres

Erik GreupnerChief Executive Officer, Padres

Erik Greupner was promoted to his current post of chief executive officer in February 2021. Greupner oversees the Padres’ business operations and leads the growth and development of the Padres’ business and culture. 2021 marks his 11th season in San Diego after joining the club in December 2010.

Prior to assuming the role of CEO, Greupner served as president of business operations from December 2018 through December 2020 and chief operating officer from November 2016 to November 2018. While serving in those posts, he led the club’s successful effort to secure the development rights for a transformational multi-use real estate project on Tailgate lot, guided the club through the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the team’s business operations, including all revenue generation. Under Greupner’s leadership, the Padres set sponsorship, group ticketing, single game, opening series and non-baseball event revenue and attendance records. Additionally, Petco Park was renovated and improved while earning USA Today’s ranking as the No. 1 ballpark in Major League Baseball. During this time, the Padres also positively impacted the San Diego community through supporting racial justice efforts and frontline workers during the pandemic, including launching California’s first COVID-19 super vaccination site at Petco Park.

Greupner served in various roles for the Padres from December 2010 to November 2016. During this time, he led the lobbying efforts and negotiations that resulted in the Padres amending its lease with the City of San Diego to significantly increase the number of non-baseball events at Petco Park and create a positive economic impact on the City. Greupner also led the negotiations of a new long-term lease and construction of the Padres’ new Spring Training facility and renovated stadium in Peoria, Arizona. Finally, Greupner’s efforts during this time were instrumental in securing the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego.

Prior to joining the Padres, Greupner worked as a corporate and transactional attorney with the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. While at Gibson Dunn, he advised senior management of public and private companies in general corporate matters, acquirers and targets in mergers and acquisitions transactions, and institutional investors and fund sponsors in the formation and operation of private investment funds.

Prior to his time with Gibson Dunn, Greupner worked in sales management roles with Goldman Sachs & Company, Scudder Weisel Capital, LLC and Life Time Fitness.

Greupner earned his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. He served as a judicial intern for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Greupner graduated cum laude from Wheaton College, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and communications. During his four years at Wheaton, Greupner was a defensive back and receiver for the Thunder football team. He currently serves as the Chairman of the advisory board of trustees of Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. He and his wife, Laura, have a son, Thomas, and two daughters, Ella and Kate.

*Gillian Zucker*President of Business Operations, LA Clippers

Gillian ZuckerPresident of Business Operations, LA Clippers

Gillian Zucker is in her seventh season as President of Business Operations of the LA Clippers. She leads all Clippers business functions as well as the Forum, the Agua Caliente Clippers and development of the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center. In her role at the Clippers, Zucker has spearheaded the transformation of the in-arena experience, directed the team’s updated brand positioning and led substantial growth of the organization’s ticketing, partnership and broadcast revenues. Key accomplishments include developing innovative new relationships with brands like Amazon Web Services and L.A.-based tech company Honey while integrating data-based technology tools into the sales process. She also guided the development of Clippers CourtVision, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform the broadcast experience.

Zucker has more than 25 years of experience in the sports industry. She has been honored by Los Angeles Magazine as one of 10 Wonder Women changing L.A., by CSQ Magazine as a Visionary in Sports and Entertainment and by United Nations Women L.A. as a Champion of Change. She has also been named the Los Angeles Business Journal Executive of the Year, an All-Star by VenuesNow and a Top Woman in Media by Cynopsis, and she is a multi-year member of the LA Business Journal’s LA500, a list of the most influential people in L.A.

Zucker’s focus is creating a culture of constant improvement and a fan-first philosophy, using innovation and strategic discipline to empower team efforts around operating as an elite championship franchise. She is further committed to positioning the Clippers as a powerful community asset, positively impacting lives beyond the court.

Zucker is a graduate of Hamilton College and serves on the Young Presidents Organization board and the Board of Directors of the global investment bank Houlihan Lokey.

*Laxmi Akkaraju* SVP Strategy, Cognite

Laxmi Akkaraju SVP Strategy, Cognite

Laxmi Akkaraju is SVP Strategy for Cognite. Cognite enables heavy asset industries in their digitization journey to become more efficient, safe and sustainable. Responsible for developing Cognite´s corporate strategy and strategic alliances.

 Laxmi has 25+ years of experience in technology, strategy and business transformation. Formerly Chief Strategy Officer in GSMA in London, SVP Global Delivery in Tieto EVRY (Norway/India), Partner in Holte Consulting (Norway) and Director of Operations in Mu Dynamics (USA).  Also serves on multiple boards (Møller Mobility Group, Aksio, and BI International Advisory Board). Public speaker on topics such as globalization and digitization, innovation, future of work, diversity and inclusion, and a wide range of topics related to emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 5G and Blockchain.

*Mats Granryd*Director General, GSMA

Mats GranrydDirector General, GSMA

Mats Granryd is Director General of the GSMA and a Member of its Board. In this role, he leads the GSMA in supporting its global membership through a range of industry programmes, advocacy initiatives and industry-convening events.

Mats is a strong proponent of sustainability and led the mobile industry in becoming the first sector to broadly commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016. He is now spearheading initiatives to amplify and accelerate the mobile industry’s impact on all 17 of the SDGs, across both developed and developing markets.

Mats serves on the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, which is focused on leveraging ICT and broadband-based technologies for sustainable development. Within the Commission, he chairs the Working Group on Digital Gender Divide to address the digital gender divide and foster the equal inclusion of women and girls in broadband access and use. Mats is also a Commissioner on the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, working with CEOs across many industries to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy.

Mats brings to the GSMA a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in the highly dynamic mobile industry. Prior to joining the GSMA in 2016, Mats was President and CEO of Tele2, one of Europe’s fastest-growing telecom operators with more than 16 million customers across nine countries.

Previously, he spent 15 years in a variety of roles at Ericsson, most recently as Head of Northern Europe and Central Asia. While at Ericsson, he also led the North West Europe, India, CDMA and North Africa units, as well as the global customer accounts for Vodafone and Bharti.

Mats holds a M.Sc. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

*Meredith Attwell Baker *President and CEO, CTIA

Meredith Attwell Baker President and CEO, CTIA

Meredith Attwell Baker joined CTIA as its President and CEO in June 2014. She brings extensive experience on spectrum issues and wireless policy and a keen understanding of how government and business must work together to drive innovation.

Prior to joining CTIA, Mrs. Baker served as the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Comcast NBC Universal where she was responsible for developing policy positions on legislative and regulatory issues and representing those positions before the U.S. Congress, the Administration and government agencies.

Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, Mrs. Baker served as a Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) until June 2011. During her tenure, she championed a forward-looking approach to spectrum management issues as well as a flexible regulatory environment to encourage continued innovation and competition in the technology and telecommunications industries.

Prior to joining the FCC, Mrs. Baker served in the Bush Administration as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information as well as the Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). While at NTIA, she facilitated the nation’s historic transition to digital television, which freed commercial spectrum for wireless companies; promoted market-based policies that encouraged innovation; served on delegations representing the United States at major international telecommunications conferences; and engaged in bilateral discussions with senior level officials from countries around the world to encourage investment in the United States.

Mrs. Baker and her husband Jamie reside in McLean, Virginia. She has four stepdaughters.

*Mike Finley*CEO, Boingo

Mike FinleyCEO, Boingo

Mike Finley is CEO of Boingo and serves on the company’s board of directors. He is responsible for the company’s strategic direction and leading the business into the 5G future. Prior to Boingo, Finley served as President of North America and Australia at Qualcomm. He has over three decades of experience in senior management roles in the telecommunications industry with Nextel, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Airtouch Cellular, Cellular One and McCaw Cellular. He currently serves on the board of the CTIA, the board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, and the Creighton University Board of Trustees. Finley received a B.S. and B.A. in marketing from Creighton University and is a member of the university’s Hall of Fame. He also attended the General Manager Program in Executive Education at Harvard Business School. 

*Mike Pollitt*CSO, Boston Dynamics

Mike PollittCSO, Boston Dynamics

Mike Pollitt has spent over 25 years bringing innovative technologies to asset intensive industries around the world to drive improved asset optimization and operational efficiency. He has held executive positions in operations, consulting and sales, including tenures at IBM, ABB, Honeywell, and a number of private equity backed technology companies. He holds a BS in Computer Science and an MBA with focus on finance and international business.

*Neville R. Ray*President of Technology, T-Mobile

Neville R. RayPresident of Technology, T-Mobile

Neville Ray is T-Mobile’s president of technology, responsible for the management and development of T-Mobile’s wireless network, the company’s information technology services, and technology operations. Previously serving as chief technology officer at T-Mobile, he takes pride in the fact that his team of more than 8,000 is “always on” for customers. Bad weather, natural disasters, and temporary usage spikes can hit at any time, but customers can always count on one thing—Neville and his team will work to save the day. Neville is also proud of the work his team did in positioning T-Mobile as a leader in 5G by launching the first nationwide 5G network in the U.S. in 2019.

Before joining T-Mobile in 2000, he was the vice president of network at Pacific Bell Mobile Services, where he helped build out the network T-Mobile users rely on in California and Nevada.

*Rob High*Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Edge Computing

Rob HighVice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Edge Computing

Rob High is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the IBM Edge Computing portfolio. Rob has architecture and technical strategy responsibility for offerings that will enable a new generation of edge computing — where work is placed close to where data is produced and actions are performed. Prior to this assignment he was the CTO for IBM Watson, responsible for setting the technical strategy and vision for IBM’s leadership in AI computing. Rob High is recognized as a global technical leader, author and evangelist, and was named an IBM Fellow in 2008 for his pioneering work in the field of SOA and for his leadership on WebSphere.

*Sampath Sowmyanarayan*Chief Revenue Officer, Verizon Business

Sampath SowmyanarayanChief Revenue Officer, Verizon Business

Sampath Sowmyanarayan is the Chief Revenue Officer for Verizon Business, charged with accelerating growth and reimagining the future of the enterprise for Verizon and its global customers. Sampath is responsible for all Verizon Business’ revenues (~$31B in 2020), go-to-market, business development and client satisfaction worldwide across the four business units (Global Enterprise, Business Markets, Public Sector and Wholesale). Additionally he is responsible for marketing, digital, customer experience and business transformation.

An innovative, forward-thinking mind, Sampath is known for his ability to forge deep global partnerships that unlock a wide range of transformative applications and leverage the advanced capabilities of Verizon’s global and award-winning networks, strategic networking, managed services, business communications, security, Internet of Things, and professional services solutions.

Prior to his current role, he served as President of Global Enterprise for Verizon Business, where he led a global team focused on delivering solutions to enable enterprise customers - including 99% of the Fortune 500 – to securely connect to the global economy and intelligently manage business interactions and operations in real-time.

Sampath started at Verizon in 2014 as Head of Business Transformation and soon moved over to serve as Verizon’s Chief Product Officer with responsibility for implementing major strategic initiatives. These included two of the company’s largest programs, Network Transformation and One Fiber, which served as the foundation for the company’s progress in both wireless network densification and 5G. He also managed a diversified, hyper-growth portfolio of consumer and enterprise innovations from leading-edge technologies including 5G, IoT, Smart Cities, next-generation video, advanced enterprise security, and SDN-based solutions.

In 2018 Sampath went on to lead Strategy and Transformation at Verizon Media, a global business reaching ~900M people globally per month. During his tenure, the business underwent an intense period of transformation, and he played a crucial role in laying the foundation for long-term growth in digital advertising, commerce and media. Ultimately, Sampath was critical in driving the turnaround of the Yahoo brand, returning it to profitability and culminating in the sale of Verizon Media to allow Verizon to focus on its core businesses.

Beginning his career in the management consulting industry, Sampath’ early career was accelerated by his work with Apple involving commercialization of the iPhone in the early 2000s and later led to him joining The Boston Consulting Group. He rose quickly within Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and as partner and Global Practice Leader for the Telecom practice, he served some of the largest telecom clients across strategic and operational topics.

Sampath has deep industry knowledge of telecom, scaled infrastructure deployment, technology (hardware and software), and digital. He has achieved massive success at operating model transformation at Verizon, managed large, scaled operations and has 2+ decades of international experience from serving as an international business consultant at the start of his career and as a Global Practice Leader at BCG to leading global teams at Verizon across 120+ countries.

Sampath has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calcutta, St. Xavier’s College, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Boston University and he is a Chartered Accountant. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children. He has a keen interest in geopolitics and cricket; his favorite team is India.

*Stephanie Lynch-Habib*Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), GSMA

Stephanie Lynch-HabibChief Marketing Officer (CMO), GSMA

As Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at the GSMA, Stephanie Lynch-Habib is responsible for driving the Association's global marketing and communications strategy to support and enable business success for the GSMA and its members.

Stephanie is a global leader in the technology sector, with over 25 years of experience. Before joining the GSMA in September 2019, Stephanie was CMO at Colt Technology Services where she spearheaded their marketing strategy. Before Colt, Stephanie spent 16 years with AT&T Business EMEA and held many senior roles including Global Marketing Director, Sales Vice President (VP), and Sales VP IoT and Strategic Solutions. During her time in AT&T, Stephanie was a founder of the AT&T European Women's Network, was nominated twice to Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Generation conference and was a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post's Women in STEM series.

Stephanie holds an M.S degree in Entrepreneurial Finance, Strategic Cost Accounting from Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business and a B.S. degree in Finance from Rutgers University. Based in Paris, Stephanie is an American native but has been living in Europe for more than 20 years.