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Distinguished Industry Leader Award 2007 - Arun Sarin

"For pioneering the growth of the mobile communications industry from infancy into a global industry and for positively influencing global ICT trends for several decades."

Arun Sarin, aged 52, graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology with a BS in Engineering in 1975.  In 1978 he gained a MS in Engineering and a MBA from the University of California, at Berkeley.

He started his career as a management consultant before moving, in 1984, to Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco.  Commencing in corporate development, he was instrumental in the company acquiring the first cellular licences in the US as well as winning the first cellular licence in Germany and a PCN licence in the UK.  He was subsequently appointed CFO and Chief Strategy Officer at Pacific Bell, before moving on to become Vice President and General Manager, San Francisco Bay Area Telephone Company, a Pacific Bell division with 12,000 employees.

Following the demerger from Pacific Telesis of the mobile and paging businesses to form AirTouch Communications, Arun was appointed Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy and Development where he developed and implemented a growth strategy encompassing partnerships and acquisitions, which included the merger with the US West wireless business.

On becoming President and CEO, AirTouch International, Arun was responsible for the acquisition of wireless licences in several overseas territories and establishing the management teams of these new ventures.

He then became President and CEO of AirTouch Communications where he was responsible for managing the cellular and paging operations in 14 countries and was a key negotiator in the successful acquisition of AirTouch by Vodafone Group Plc.  Within the combined business, Vodafone AirTouch Plc, he was CEO US/Asia Pacific region, managing the Group’s operations in the US, Asia and Australasia.  In addition, he headed the Global Technology division, responsible for the introduction of wireless internet services.

In 2000, with the successful merger of Vodafone AirTouch’s US businesses with those of Bell Atlantic and GTE to form Verizon Wireless, Arun, whilst maintaining a non-executive directorship of Vodafone AirTouch Plc, became CEO of Infospace.

In 2001 he joined Accel-KKR Telecom, a telecom investment and management business, where he evaluated numerous opportunities in the telecommunications industry around the world and oversaw the acquisition of Bell Canada’s Yellow Pages business.

In April 2003 he became CEO designate of Vodafone Group Plc and assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer on July 30th 2003.

Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer, Arun had been a Non-Executive Director of The Gap Inc, The Charles Schwab Corporation and Cisco Systems Inc.

In April 2005, Arun’s appointment to the Court of Directors of the Bank of England was announced, which became effective on 1st June 2005 and is for a fixed three year term.