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Gulf Bridge International (GBI) appoints two senior hires to propel company forward

GBI (Gulf Bridge International), a global cloud, connectivity and content enabler has announced it has hired Brendan Press as Chief Commercial Officer and Karl Erik Broten as Chief Financial Officer.

Press has over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications across sales and business development, marketing and customer service. He joins from Orange Business Services, UK, where he was Global Lead Director, Business Development. There he led teams delivering digital transformation programmes to global companies in the areas of cloud, security and data management.

Prior to this, Press was VP, UAE Global Services at Etisalat, UAE. In his position he won contracts with major regional and global companies including Thomson Reuters, ADIA, FAB and Emirates and partnered with multiple carriers in the delivery of global services.

Commenting on his appointment, Press says: “GBI ensures connectivity across the Middle East and beyond with our GBI Smart Network spanning internationally. It’s an incredibly exciting company to be a part of at a time of rapidly increasing demand for data and digital services across the region . As a team I want to make sure our partners and customers understand our unique proposition and can trust GBI to deliver quality and cost effective solutions. I look forward to leading a high-performing team to deliver unique value and provide a platform for transformation across the region.”

Karl Erik Broten, GBI’s new CFO, similarly brings decades of extensive experience in the ICT sector. Karl previously worked for the Telenor Group for 23 years in various finance functions, 16 of which he was CFO, across six different markets in Europe and Asia.

Most recently he was CFO for Digi Telecommunications in Malaysia, and for Grameenphone Ltd in Bangladesh. Both companies are locally listed with Telenor ASA as the controlling shareholder. At Grameenphone Ltd. Karl contributed to grow revenue and operating profit by controlling spending and streamlining approval processes, and by strengthening relationships with regulatory/tax authorities. At Digi Telecommunications he boosted cost control and efficiency, reduced the cost of capital, and delivered best-practice operations oversight. Moreover, during this time, Karl relishes establishing a Sharia compliant bond via a heavily oversubscribed book building exercise.

Broten comments: “GBI is at the top of its game, offering unparalleled bandwidth and low latency to customers globally, so I’m delighted to be a part of the team helping to propel GBI forward. My experience working in multi-cultural environments and ensuring seamless cooperation across organisations will support us in achieving strategic and financial goals set by the board.”

Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI adds: “We have made these two strategic senior hires to support GBI on our exciting journey ahead. Brendan and Karl will be great additions to the existing team and their valuable experience will push us forward. Brendan has impressive track record in leading teams to achieve exceptional results, and Karl is a highly accomplished finance professional specialising in promoting efficiency, innovation, and customer satisfaction in large service organisations. They both bring a great mix of hands-on experience and expertise which will add value and continue the success of GBI.”

About Gulf Bridge International (GBI)

Founded in 2008, GBI is a global cloud, connectivity, and content enabler that owns and operates a smart and fully managed network. GBI’s multilayer terrestrial and subsea cable meshed network bridges the East to the West through the Middle East, empowers businesses, connects societies, and contributes to the region’s accelerated digital transformation. GBI is a carrier of choice for telecom operators, ISPs and governments throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia offering capacity and a portfolio of wholesale and enterprise services. GBI’s value propositions and diverse offerings serve as a catalyst to growth, innovation and contribute to the economic development within the region and beyond. In 2016, GBI won five industry awards for Best Submarine Cable Operator, Best Middle Eastern Wholesale Carrier – Data, Telecoms Company of the year – Qatar, Most Innovative Company – Qatar and an Innovation Award for Network Infrastructure – UK. For more information visit:

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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