Two top executives suddenly depart GSMA

Tim Maytom

Two senior executives at the GSMA, the group which represents mobile operators worldwide, have reportedly left the organisation suddenly and with immediate effect. According to Light Reading, a website the covers the communications industry, Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer and Sebastian Caballo, head of LatAm, have both departed.

According to an internal note from Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, that was sent to all staff, both executives "have decided to leave the GSMA and I've agreed they can do with immediate effect". It is not clear why either decided to leave the organisation at such short notice, or if the departures are connected.

The note also outlined a temporary reporting structure for staff to follow while replacements are found, and Granryd called on staff to pull together in the lead-up to next year's MWC event in Barcelona, typically the GSMA's biggest show of the year.

"As we approach Barcelona, it is important we maintain focus, despite changes in management and reporting lines," wrote Granryd. "I know I can count on you all to deliver."

O'Hara joined the GSMA in 2008 and has been a key figure in the organisation's growth during his time with the group. Over the past decade, the MWC event in Barcelona has doubled in size to more than 100,000 attendees, and the group has also launched annual events in Shanghai and San Francisco. O'Hara oversaw the conference programmes, Mobile World Live TV service, Innovation City exhibition and all event branding, marketing and communications for the events. Caballo is also a veteran of the GSMA, having been with the organisation since 2006. His departure comes just a week after a GSMA conference in Buenos Aires, part of its Mobile 360 series.