at&t appoints new executives to lead middle east and africa initiatives

Published January 20th, 2008 - 07:41 GMT

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced the appointment of two new executives to drive business development opportunities and expand the sales team for AT&T in the Middle East and North Africa. The appointments complement AT&T’s expanding services and network reach in the region.

John Gibson has been appointed president of Business Development, Middle East and Africa, AT&T Global Business Services. Gibson’s focus will be to accelerate business development opportunities as part of AT&T’s ongoing strategic investment in the region. Gibson will report directly to Ronald Spears, group president, AT&T Global Business Services.

To help build a stronger local presence for AT&T, Javier Semerene has been appointed to the new position of regional vice president, Middle East and Africa, AT&T Global Business Services. In this post, Semerene will be responsible for developing and leading AT&T’s Global Business Services organization in the Middle East and North Africa region. He will report to John Finnegan, senior vice president, Global Sales, AT&T Global Services.

Both executives will be based at AT&T’s regional headquarters in Dubai.

“These appointments bring real strength to our team in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Spears. “Both Javier and John bring a huge amount of experience to these roles, and I look forward to working with them in what is a key growth area for AT&T.”

Before his new assignment, Gibson most recently had served in a corporate function for the Business Development team at AT&T’s headquarters in San Antonio and supported AT&T’s international operations. From 2002 to 2004, he was based in South Africa as general counsel – SBCI South Africa. Before that, he had held a variety of legal, regulatory and merger and acquisition (M&A) roles in SBC.

“My previous experience of advising on international operations and M&A for AT&T has prepared me extremely well for this new position,” said Gibson. “I am excited to bring my experience with identifying growth opportunities in the region to buttress the investments that AT&T has already made in the Middle East.”

Before his new appointment, Semerene had been regional sales vice president for AT&T in Latin America, where he was responsible for all global enterprise sales in the region and for managing the IBM account in Central America, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and South America. Semerene joined AT&T in 2002 as the global account director in charge of developing and implementing initiatives that would contribute to performance improvements and business expansion of AT&T in Latin America.

“The Middle East region presents a great opportunity for AT&T and our global customers,” Semerene said. “Coming from Latin America, a region with similar complexity and growth, I am looking forward to helping build AT&T’s forceful sales presence in another rapidly growing and emerging market. We have the right partners, the right customers and a company that is serious about growing our presence in the Middle East and North Africa. I look forward to helping AT&T to serve new and existing customers even better on a truly global basis in this exciting and dynamic market.”

AT&T opened its regional headquarters in Dubai in 2006 to meet the needs of its customers in what is a high-growth market. Most recently, AT&T announced that its network node is being deployed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) and NavLink, a company in which AT&T maintains a minority shareholding. AT&T is further enhancing its network reach in the Gulf with the deployment of a new AT&T global network node in Kuwait, through the cooperation of QualityNet, the leading provider of data-networking services in Kuwait. AT&T and QualityNet will work with NavLink to activate the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) node during 2008. These initiatives to expand AT&T’s network reach in the Middle East complement AT&T’s existing network infrastructure already fully deployed and operational in United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

AT&T provides advanced communications services to global multinational customers and offers consistent, resilient, standardized Internet Protocol (IP) services to business customers around the world. These services include IP-based Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which uses the latest MPLS technology, and are complemented by an advanced portfolio of data-hosting services and leading IP security offerings.

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About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

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