Press Release

Russell Reynolds Associates’ #MobileGameChangers 2014 Report Finds Customer Empowerment Rapidly Transforming the Mobile Industry


February 25, 2014

​​Leadership Must Change to Keep Up

Russell Reynolds Associates Announces #MobileGameChangers 2014

The Firm's List of 10 Executives Leading the Industry Through New Era of Customer Empowerment

BARCELONA, Spain & NEW YORK----Russell Reynolds Associates, the global executive search and assessment firm, unveiled findings from its #MobileGameChangers 2014 report and announced its #MobileGameChangers 2014 list of 10 influential executives who are reshaping the global mobile industry at a February 24 event at the Ohla Hotel in Barcelona, Spain.
Here is a link to event photos and the report:

According to the report, the first decade of the 21st century in mobile was dominated by innovation in connectivity and devices. Now the industry is entering an era where customer empowerment is disrupting business models faster than ever before and a new form of leadership is needed to keep up with the pace. The new leadership skill set is based around understanding customers intimately, exploiting the opportunities of digital, partnering adventurously, taking risks and coping with chaos.

The report draws on insights from leaders across the mobile ecosystem sectors and analyzes the impact of industry change on leadership models. It also highlights the changing relationship between consumers and businesses. The mobile Internet means that consumers are increasingly in control of what they know about organizations, with the power to bypass advertising and seek information from other sources. Social media provides the tools to amplify their voices in a more powerful way than ever before, according to the report.

James Roome and Nada Usina, global co-leaders of the mobile practice Russell Reynolds Associates, said: "We are fortunate to work with many of the world's leading executives in mobile and digital. We have chosen our #MobileGameChangers for a combination of their extraordinary contribution and bold new leadership in a changing market."

The firm announced 10 influential executives who are reshaping the mobile industry and demonstrating new models of leadership. These #MobileGameChangers characterize the new leadership expertise required to cope with the transformation created by customer empowerment in an industry more familiar with dealing with technology change.

Russell Reynolds Associates' 10 #MobileGameChangers 2014 are:

  • Mary Chan, President, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors
  • Andrew Fisher, Executive Chairman, Shazam
  • Michael Joseph, Director of Mobile Money, Vodafone
  • Iris Lapinski, CEO, CDI Apps for Good
  • John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile US
  • Glenn Lurie, President – Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, AT&T
  • Martin Ott, Managing Director, Northern Europe, Facebook
  • William Plummer, Vice President of External Affairs, Huawei
  • David Sear, CEO, Weve
  • Kahina Van Dyke, Group Head of Global Initiatives, MasterCard

The #MobileGameChangers 2014 were selected for their success in leading organizations in a new way. Through their leadership, they are transforming businesses, creating new platforms that enrich the customer experience, enhancing the way people live and contributing to social good.

Roome said, "The challenge for many established companies in mobile is that they are entrenched in a leadership model that is out of date and out of touch with customers. It is not easy to move away from the conventional. Cultures and incentive systems often work against the change that is needed. Leaders with the attributes required to navigate this new customer empowered and data driven market are a scarce commodity. Many of these new leaders have worked across different markets, different functions and different industries."

Usina added, "It seems that being a leader who manages experts well is no longer enough in an era where decisions create and destroy value almost overnight. Next generation leaders are true experts who can lead, and we see this expertise as being increasingly valued, even at the CEO level. The leaders who are redefining the industry seem to have a different view on risk and partnering with other companies. The initial question these leaders are asking is: what is the upside and what can we create together? The legacy questions are: what is the downside? And what could go wrong? It's probably not an overstatement to say that it's a new generation of thinking and we are seeing the need for this capability across all scales of companies, it's not just for start-ups anymore."

There are big implications for organizations, from the boardroom down. As business becomes driven more and more by customers, the successful leaders will be people who are comfortable with making sense of what can seem like chaos to others. They will be the ones who will inspire others to take calculated risks and deliver differentiating outcomes. They are rule breakers who inherently understand what drives their business and how to create partnerships for innovation. Finding the right leaders is about bringing together a combination of context, expertise, experience and culture fit to an organization.

About Russell Reynolds Associates

Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 42 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to identify, assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success. We value teamwork, serving our clients with a collaborative approach that spans our international network of sector and functional experts.

Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients' specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what makes an effective leader, ensure that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses. For more information, please visit us at Follow us on Twitter: @RRAonLeadership.

About the #MobileGameChangers Class of 2014

Mary Chan, President, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors

Mary joined General Motors (GM) in 2012 as President, Global Connected Consumer. In this newly created role, she has created an organization tasked with redefining customers' relationship with their vehicle, under the premise that people want to be as connected in the car as they are elsewhere in their lives. Connected by OnStar, this automaker is redefining infotainment and the in-vehicle experience, while serving customers across the globe.
For more information visit:

Andrew Fisher, Executive Chairman, Shazam

Since joining Shazam in 2005, Andrew has created a new business model bravely moving from paid to free, and, with promising beginnings in the music segment, has evolved the thinking to broader media, TV and the like. The sector has faced huge disruption, but, regardless, Andrew has transformed a West Coast start-up into a global platform. Andrew has proven the speed at which models can and need to change.
For more information visit:

Michael Joseph, Director of Mobile Money, Vodafone

Michael is in many ways the father of mobile payments. Under his leadership M-Pesa became THE global success story in mobile payments. In the process, Michael has made fundamental improvements to the quality of life and provided vital services to millions of Africans, proving mobile can change lives.
For more information visit:

Iris Lapinski, CEO, CDI Apps for Good

Iris is empowering a global generation of problem solvers and digital makers. Partnering with schools and industry, Apps for Good teaches young people how to code, design and take to market technology products that change the world. From a modest start in 2010 with two centers and 50 students, Apps for Good now works with over 210 schools delivering courses to 17,000 students ages 10 to 18.
For more information visit:

John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile US

Since taking on the CEO role at T-Mobile last year he has shaken up the US market. While mobile industry commentators spend time talking about the exciting developments in emerging markets and new mobile start-ups, John is proving that it is possible to drive radical change in a mature market. The market is now following his lead with operators in the US fighting it out to prove they are listening to their customers.
For more information visit:

Glenn Lurie, President – Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, AT&T

Glenn is proving the value of connectivity with AT&T's new Digital Home proposition. As an AT&T customer through your mobile device it will be possible to turn on your lights, check on your pets or look after an elderly relative. His team is not new to taking risks with different propositions; in 2007 AT&T connected Kindle devices to its mobile network for the first time.
For more information visit:

Martin Ott, Managing Director, Northern Europe, Facebook

In a time where there was so much hype about Facebook and then questions around whether it could figure out how to monetize mobile, the short answer has been a resounding "yes." Martin has illustrated the ability to influence brands to shift their spending to mobile brand building.
For more information visit:

William Plummer, Vice President of External Affairs, Huawei

A 17-year mobile industry veteran with 12 years at one-time industry-leader Nokia, William is now working with global technology powerhouse Huawei Technologies, managing some of the most intense political challenges created by an industry that combines a global customer marketplace, complex local regulations and government level politics. The rules of the game are still emerging; the stakes are high.
For more information visit:

David Sear, CEO, Weve

Just over a year old, Weve is creating significant change and disruption in m-commence. The company is a joint venture between the three largest mobile network operators in the UK and is a focal point for a new set of ideas and services in mobile marketing and display, payments and loyalty. Weve has taken these services and its shareholders' customers to develop a unified marketing service combined with a payments and loyalty service which will be available to businesses in the UK with single points of contact and technical integration. The model is underpinned with some of the most intelligent data analytics available in the UK.
For more information visit:

Kahina Van Dyke, Group Head of Global Initiatives, MasterCard

Kahina is responsible for global strategic initiatives within MasterCard, including those that expand commerce to include billions of new consumers, hundreds of millions of new micro merchants and ensure digital conversion of traditional financial services. MasterCard is a leader in constructing the new commerce and payment eco-system that spans innovative payment platforms, issuance of national identity cards in emerging markets and delivering robust mobile-based financial products and services in market. The customer interaction through mobile will increasingly require minds like Kahina's to design and launch solutions that create a fully inclusive digital payments and commerce platform.
For more information visit:


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Makovsky Priscilla Li, 212-508-9659

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Russell Reynolds Associates’ #MobileGameChangers 2014 Report Finds Customer Empowerment Rapidly Transforming the Mobile Industry