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Google Cloud General Manager takes over as Telenor CTO

Amol Phadke joins the global telecom after three years at Google

Amol Phadke (left) with Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke

C-suite changes continue at Norwegian majority-state owned telecom Telenor.

Following a reshuffle that saw former CFO Jørgen C Arentz Rostrup and Head of Asia, take over as Head of Nordics, and former Head of Nordics Petter-Børre Furberg take over as Head of Asia, Amol Phadke has been appointed as Group CTO.

"His extensive leadership experience from global technology companies and unique telecom credentials will enable us to navigate the tremendous technology shift in our industry and unlock the resulting value for Telenor,” said CEO Sigve Brekke of the appointment.

Phadke is a telecom vertical veteran, who was most recently a Managing Director and General Manager at Google Cloud.

Previously, he has held key leadership roles at British Telecom, Alcatel-Lucent and Accenture. Phadke's appointment comes as Telenor pushes to "accelerate" its digital transformation.

As part of its 2025 ambitions, Telenor wants to transition into a cloud-based environment and focus on establishing itself as a software and product driven company.

See also: Amidst job cut plans and digital transformation, BT appoints its first female CEO

The digital transformation has included partnerships with both Google Cloud and Accenture to improve and modernise Telenor’s in-house IT and networks, along with collaborating on the creation and roll-out of new customer-facing services

Telenor has indicated that  5G, Cloud Computing, AI, and IoT are key  in driving the digital transformation of its business model, and Phadke brings significant experience working across these technologies.

In an article written post the AWS: Reinvent Conference of 2019, Phadke explained how "cloudification" was the future for telecoms.

"Cloudification will accelerate as public cloud providers develop carrier-grade solutions. The previous preference for private cloud, for reasons of security, scalability and end-to-end control, is shifting as it becomes clear that public cloud players have made huge leaps forward in supporting mission-critical capabilities," he wrote.

More recently, he described how generative AI in conjunction with cloud could be transformative when it comes to personalized experiences, autonomous network and streamlined operations when it comes to communications network providers.

On his move to the Telenor C-Suite, Phadke said, "Telenor is uniquely positioned across all its operating markets, with technology being used as a key enabler for profitable growth in order to unlock the resulting value for our customers and partners.

Telecom analysts have been quick to comment on Phadke's move, with Ray Le Maistre of TelecomTV noting that he has "bucked industry trend" by "leaving a public cloud giant," to work for a Telco.