MEF launched its EMEA chapter in Paris in November 2006 and the chapter championed vital areas of European policy, responding to EU consultations on key issues such as child safety and content online. In 2010 it opened an office in the Middle East supported by ooredoo Group and MEF Africa was launched in 2012 supported by Vodacom.
The EMEA Board has representatives from across Europe, Middle East and Africa – details below. It is the champion of MEF’s Mobile Money Initiative and takes an active role in the Global Consumer Trust Initiative.
MEF EMEA Board of Directors
Darren Foulds – EMEA Chair
Managing Director, Mobile Payments, Barclays Bank
Darren has over 14 years’ experience working in financial services, design and mobile services. As the Managing Director for Mobile Banking and Barclays Pingit, an award winning payments platform, Darren is responsible for the global development of these propositions; focused upon innovation, building partnerships and product development to deliver real value to consumers.
Darren is passionate about putting the customer at the heart of design and leveraging the increased engagement we see through mobile to bring new products and services to consumers. Of particular interest is how to extend these services to new markets and bring the benefits of simplified payments to both banked and unbanked customers.
Adia Sowho – EMEA Vice Chair
Director, Digital Business, Etisalat Nigeria
Adia Sowho has worked within wireless telecommunications in various roles for the last 15 years. She started out as an engineer with United States Cellular, a CDMA operator in the US.
After obtaining an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management and after a stint as a Management Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, she returned home to Nigeria.
At Etisalat Nigeria, one of the fastest growing telcos, she was first, the Head of Strategy. Now, as the Head of Digital media, Adia oversees Value Added Service products, Mobile Content and Mobile Advertising.
James McNab – Basebone
Managing Director Africa and Executive Director
James is Managing Director at Basebone South Africa, and Chief Communications Officer at Basebone Group. For over 15 years, James has held various senior positions across the mobile technology sector covering aggregation, content, broadcast media, marketing and social media globally across B2B, B2C and D2C markets. He is an experienced marketer, Africa enthusiast & champion for enlightened self-regulation. As a long-standing liaison to numerous regulatory bodies covering 5 continents, James has been on the board of the South African VAS regulatory association, WASPA since 2013 and currently chairs the Code of Practice Working Group. He chaired the Communications Working Group from 2013 – 2015.
He is active on MEF’s Africa Steering Committee where he brings his experience and passion for the region to facilitate opportunities for mobile VAS providers in a region that is extremely complex from both a licensing & regulatory perspective. James joined MEF’s EMEA Board in 2015. In addition to this he also advises mobile service/content providers on operational and compliance matters and serves as a Non-Executive Director to several global interactive media players.
Mark Stannard – Boku
Mark has 15+ years’ experience in mobile, specializing in mobile content & payment services and has worked for MEF member companies since 2000. As Vice President for Boku, Mark is a leading member of the team that has brought the biggest digital brands to carrier billing – Facebook, Spotify, Sony PlayStation & Microsoft Windows’ 10 Store. Mark played a critical role in building Boku’s market leading carrier billing network of over 300 carriers and continues to have direct responsibility for Boku’s Global Carrier Partnerships.
Most recently Mark led the development and launch of Boku’s financially regulated carrier billing product in Europe. This groundbreaking development enables carrier billing to be used for non-digital products and services – physical goods and quasi-physical goods, substantially increasing the available market for carrier billing across the continent.
Previously, Mark held senior positions at Deutsche Telekom & Buongiorno-Vitaminic (now part of NTT-DOCOMO) where he managed BD & led marketing & licensing for music and digital entertainment services.
Antos Stella – Content Connect Africa
An extraordinary presence in the music business for nearly 30 years, Antos is amongst the region’s most respected businesswomen. Her artist relations and ability to foster win-win- partnerships have enabled her to successfully bridge the gap between the media and mobile worlds.
In 2010, she became MD of CCA – then Blue Label Telecommunications, a listed company. By 2012, Antos had become majority shareholder, running the company to this day with passion and excellence.
Under her guidance, Content Connect Africa is one of South Africa’s leading content aggregators representing independent labels and artists throughout the Continent. CCA has also evolved into a 360 entertainment business opening up entities in 2015 in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda and expanding its business to include content management, marketing, ticketing and the recently launched mobile TV services.
CCA was MEF’s first ever Africa based member and formed part of the inaugural MEF Africa Steering Committee in 2012/2013.
Waheed Adam – iTouch
Waheed Adam is a serial entrepreneur who started out as an activist fighting discrimination in Apartheid South Africa. He lives by the motto “through tragedy comes opportunity” and launched his first company ‘the Prime Group’ in 1988, at the young age of 22. Today, the Group comprises businesses in multiple sectors with a core focus on mobile.
In 2005, Waheed served as co-founder of iTouch Nigeria, one of the first international VAS companies to set up local presence. In the absence of a MEF Guide to doing business in Nigeria, many a hard lesson was learnt and turning the business into a success was no mean feat. In 2009, the Group also acquired the iTouch SA B2B business and has become a major global player in Messaging, in particular across Africa. iTouch has plans to be on the ground across 10 new African territories by July 2017.
Since 2016, Waheed has been a strong champion for MEF within the Messaging Initiative and on the Africa steer co – contributing to the market facilitation guide for Nigeria; hosting MEF’s Messaging meeting during Africacom and introducing the MEF Executive to a number of operator prospects.
Grahame Riddell – Microsoft
Global Director Carrier Billing, Universal Windows Store
I have been involved in the Mobile industry for 25 years working in various roles across O2, Vodafone, Nokia and now Microsoft.
In my early career at O2, I held various Product Development roles which culminated in becoming Head of Prepay services. I then moved to work for Vodafone/Vizzavi where I was European Propositions Manager for Vodafone Live transitioning into the exciting world of Content and Applications. This led me back to O2 to take up the role of Head of Mobile Data Marketing and then Head of Content at O2 before moving to Nokia , where I focused on selling- in the App Store to Operators and agreeing the commercials for Carrier Billing.
I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity that MEF has in helping to shape and address key areas to build trust from end consumers that will contribute to the future success of the “Mobile Ecosystem” as this evolves, converges and takes advantage of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Roseline Ilori – Mtech Communications
Roseline ILORI is the CEO of MTech Communications Plc., the pioneer Mobile Value Added Service (MVAS) Provider in Nigeria. MTech commenced operations in Nigeria in 2001 at the inception of GSM in the country and as at December 2015; the company has extended its operations to other eleven Africa countries in Africa working with thirty-seven mobile operators across the globe. MTech has remained a company to reckon with as far as African content is concerned.
Roseline is a graduate of Computer Engineering and holds a MBA with specialization in Marketing. She current serves as a member of the Steering Board of WASPAN (Wireless Application Service Provider Association of Nigeria). Roseline brings her 11 years of experience in mobile aggregation, content development, mobile marketing, and digital content to MEF EMEA Board.
Dario Betti – MTS
Director of Products and Services
Dario is the Director of Products for MTS, the largest telco in Russia and the CIS with over 100 million mobile customers. But his experience in mobile ecosystem is wider: it goes back to 1999; first as a consultant for Ovum advocating for attention to the nascent Mobile VAS, then launching the first Mobile Internet product for T-Mobile in Europe, and more recently expanding the concept of innovative partnerships between telcos and digital players in Asia and the Middle East, for Ooredoo and Axiata.
The main theme in Dario’s career has been ‘bringing Mobile to new fields, and new fields to mobile’. The digital transformation is changing the role of mobile operators and service providers. It is only possible to create long term value for telcos by working together with large digitals players such as Google, Facebook, and Apple but also with local innovative players and start-ups in each country. The role of the operator is central for giving access to data networks to customers, but increasingly it is also to maintain a fair access to customer data and charging methods. Operator have a role to guarantee a healthy market for customers and all of the ecosystem players.
Emanuele De Leonardis – Orange
Deputy VP, Data Strategy & Governance
Emanuele works at Orange where he currently holds the position of Deputy VP of ExCom sponsored Data Strategy and Governance program, a program aimed at fostering the adoption of innovative data-driven practices across the Group whilst conforming to stewardship responsibilities under the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Emanuele has held senior positions within Orange in the areas of advertising and data monetization. Prior to joining Orange, Emanuele has actively contributed to building and scaling commercial operations of successful VC-funded startups – and previous MEF members – such as Amobee and PacketVideo.
Since 2016, Emanuele has been an active proponent of MEF’s Consumer Trust working group; championing its core focus on stewardship and innovation; introducing new companies across the PIMS ecosystem into MEF and supporting MEF’s submission to EU Horizon2020 bid to fund trials and unlock interoperability solutions.
Danny Preiskel – Preiskel & Co
Danny is a co-founder of Preiskel & Co, a leading boutique TMT-specialised City law firm and has been a proactive supporter of MEF since advising on its legal establishment in 2001.
Danny has 25 years of experience advising on TMT matters internationally. He has been ranked for over 15 years as one of the world’s leading communications lawyers in leading independent guides. Chambers guide states “Daniel Preiskel is regarded as “the man telecoms companies turn to for strategic advice thanks to his grassroots understanding of the industry”. Danny, speaks 7 languages and is a regular speaker at major industry events. Previous experience includes investment banking in Morgan Grenfell’s telecoms team.
Tim Houlihan – Telefónica
Commercial Lead A2P Messaging
Based in Munich, Tim is a senior mobile executive specialising in the Mobile Messaging over the last 7+ years. He began his mobile career in in the A2P SMS aggregation (tyntec) before moving across to his current role within Telefónica. He is passionate about the opportunity enabled by messaging as a way to deliver engagement and value generation for businesses and customers alike.
At Telefónica, his current focus is on key areas of the business including fraud prevention, business continuity and the market development of SMS to IP propositions.
Telefónica has taken a pro-active role in MEF around the Messaging Initiative to build consumer trust and value in mobile for brands and customers.