Founder & Executive Chairman of the Board
H. Brian Thompson is the founder of GTT and has served as chairman of the company’s board of directors since January 2005 and as its executive chairman since October 2006. From January 2005 until October 2006, Mr. Thompson also served as GTT’s chief executive officer. Mr. Thompson continues to head his own private equity investment and advisory firm, Universal Telecommunications, Inc., focused on start-up companies and consolidations taking place in the information/telecommunications business areas both domestically and internationally. From December 2002 to June 2007, he was chairman of Comsat International, one of the largest independent telecommunications operators serving all of Latin America. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Global TeleSystems Group, Inc. from March 1999 through September 2000. Mr. Thompson also served as chairman and CEO of LCI International, Inc., from 1991 until its sale to Qwest Communications International, Inc. in June 1998. He became vice chairman of the board for Qwest until his resignation in December 1998. From 1981 to 1990, Mr. Thompson served as executive vice president of MCI Communications Corporation. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Pendrell Corporation and Penske Automotive Group, Inc. Mr. Thompson served as the co-chairman for the Americas and is currently on the executive committee of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission, a multinational organization launched in Brussels in 1995 to chart the role of the private sector in the developing global information and telecommunications infrastructure. He serves as a member of the Irish Prime Minister’s Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board. Mr. Thompson received his Master of Business Administration from Harvard’s Business School and holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Chief Revenue Officer
Ernie Ortega is GTT’s division president, Americas. In this role, Mr. Ortega is responsible for overseeing sales and operations, as well as client service experience, for GTT’s enterprise, channel, carrier and government clients in the region. Mr. Ortega brings over 30 years of telecom experience to GTT with a strong record of delivering revenue growth at major companies, including MCI, XO, Cogent and Colt. He has held various C-level roles with leading organizations ranging from 300 to 1,500 employees and with responsibility for $400 million to $1.7 billion in revenue. Mr. Ortega was most recently CEO of Towerstream. He has also held the chief revenue officer position at Colt Technology Services, where he had global responsibility for sales, marketing, operations and sales engineering spanning three continents. Before joining Colt, Mr. Ortega was chief revenue officer at Cogent, and prior to that he spent 14 years at XO Communications in leadership positions, including executive vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for the growth of XO’s revenue stream. Mr. Ortega started his career in the telecommunications industry at MCI in various senior management roles.
General Counsel and EVP, Corporate Development
Chris McKee is GTT’s general counsel and EVP, corporate development and corporate secretary for the GTT board. Mr. McKee is responsible for all of the company’s corporate legal requirements, human resources and supplier management. Mr. McKee also oversees the development of strategic business opportunities for the company, including all merger and acquisition activities. Mr. McKee has over 20 years of broad legal experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining GTT, he served as general counsel for StarVox Communications where he was responsible for the company’s legal department, mergers and acquisitions, employment law, litigation, and legal support for the sales teams. Mr. McKee also formerly served as vice president and assistant general counsel for Covad Communications where he headed Covad’s Washington DC office and directed the federal and state regulatory compliance and advocacy efforts for the company. Mr. McKee previously worked for XO Communications, Net2000 Communications and was in private practice in Washington DC as an associate at Dickstein Shapiro and Cooley LLP. Mr. McKee also serves as a director of Cool Technologies, which is developing heat dispersion technologies for use in various product platforms worldwide (NASDAQ: WARM). Mr. McKee received a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College and a law degree from Syracuse University.
Chief Financial Officer
Steven Berns is GTT’s chief financial officer, leading GTT’s global finance group, including financial operations, external reporting, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions and all banking and advisory relationships. Mr. Berns joined GTT in April 2020. Mr. Berns brings more than 30 years of strategic, financial and operational leadership experience to GTT. Prior to joining GTT, he served as co-chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Shutterstock, a leading global technology company. Prior to his tenure at Shutterstock, Mr. Berns served in several executive leadership roles, including as chief financial officer at the Tribune Media Company, a television and digital media company, and Revlon, a worldwide cosmetic and beauty products company. Mr. Berns earned an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University.
Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Operations
Bob Burris is GTT’s senior vice president, global engineering and operations. Mr. Burris is an industry veteran bringing over 30 years of operational, engineering, and technology experience to the company. Mr. Burris is responsible for all operations and engineering components of the company. Prior to joining GTT, Mr. Burris held vice president level positions at Harris Caprock where he managed the firm’s government transport system and global terrestrial network. Before Caprock, Mr. Burris held senior level management positions at Core 180, Arbinet and Cable and Wireless.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Frederique Arnold is GTT’s senior vice president, human resources. In this role, she leads HR for GTT, overseeing performance management, compensation planning and talent recruitment, as well as HR support for acquisitions, organizational restructuring and change. Ms. Arnold brings 20 years of human resources experience at international companies in the high-technology industry working for high-growth, rapidly changing organizations. Prior to joining GTT in 2018, Ms. Arnold was the senior vice president of human resources at Interoute. She joined Interoute in 2006 as the director of Global Compensation and Benefits and subsequently held a number of leadership roles in the human resources function. Before joining Interoute, Ms. Arnold held several leadership positions at Mentor Graphics, where she specialized in executive and general compensation, mergers and acquisitions, benefits, performance management and employee relations. Ms. Arnold holds a M.Sc. in economics from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France, and an M.A. in human resources from the University of Law, Economics and Political Science in Dijon, France.
Division President, Europe
Jesper Aagaard is GTT’s division president, Europe, responsible for leading sales and operations, as well as the client service experience, for GTT’s enterprise, channel, carrier and government clients in mainland Europe and the United Kingdom as well as the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Mr. Aagaard joined GTT through the May 2018 acquisition of Interoute, where he served as managing director, Nordics and Holland. Prior to Interoute, Mr. Aagaard was managing director of Comendo Network, a Danish company listed on NASDAQ OMX, acquired by Interoute in 2012. Prior to Comendo Network, Mr. Aagaard was co-founder and CEO of Netmore A/S, an independent network consulting firm, which was acquired by Comendo Network in 2008. Mr. Aagaard started his career in the shipping industry before moving to the IT and telecommunications sector in 1998. He held sales management roles at UUNET and COLT Technology Services from 1999 to 2006.
Senior Vice President, Client Experience
Beth Hollenback is GTT’s senior vice president, client experience, responsible for driving continuous improvement of the GTT client experience, including setting the strategic direction, collecting client feedback, applying data analytics, and spearheading client advocacy. Ms. Hollenback joined GTT in August 2015 and has led Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) plus Billing and Collections. She brings nearly 20 years of telecommunications industry experience to GTT. Prior to joining GTT, she led FP&A at Intelsat. Ms. Hollenback holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from Stanford University and an MBA in finance from Johns Hopkins University.
Senior Vice President, Product Management and Systems
Corey Eng is GTT’s senior vice president of product management and systems/business operations, leading GTT’s product strategy and development, software development and systems development worldwide. Mr. Eng is a veteran of the telecommunications industry, bringing over 20 years of management experience to the company. Prior to joining GTT, Mr. Eng was vice president of marketing for Comcast, where he was responsible for business services marketing. Before Comcast, Mr. Eng held several senior level marketing positions with some of the leading telecommunications companies, including Nextel, Broadwing, Winstar, Go Communications and MCI. Mr. Eng received a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from UCLA.