GMS’ core values are commitment, integrity, and progress – our goal is to drive innovation and value while offering best-in-class customer service. We want your business to grow just as much as you do. To achieve this, we offer you our in-depth knowledge of the market, and bespoke, high-quality solutions perfectly tailored to fit your needs. In this context, our bold vision is to become the leader and the ambassador for trusted and transparent messaging worldwide.
We have put a lot of effort into developing our expertise in the field of telecommunications. Sharing this expertise, exchanging best practices, and fostering cooperation help advance the cause of the whole industry. To aid this endeavor, GMS actively participates in various organizations and associations to share experience and bring progress to the telecommunications business.
GMS is your one-stop shop for worldwide communications.
Our network encompasses 900+ mobile operators, over 240 directly connected to GMS.
years of leadership in the market
mobile operators in 200 countries
mobile operators directly connected to GMS
60 mobile operators directly connected in the CIS region
ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 9001
The GMS team is what drives our company’s success. At the steering wheel of the company we have some of the most knowledgeable, driven leaders available. With their extensive expertise in the industry, personal integrity, and unwavering commitment to GMS’ core values, our management team leads the company towards progress.
Board of Directors
Iurii MakarenkoPresident of the Board / Executive Chairman of the Board
President of the Board / Executive Chairman of the BoardGraduated from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with a degree in management and marketing. Since 1995 Iurii worked management positions at Utel and MTS Ukraine being responsible for the development of the international business of fixed-line and mobile operators. To drive the development of messaging services, Iurii founded and headed the Global Message Services company in 2006. In 15 years of growth under his leadership, GMS has transformed from a local company operating in the CIS market to an international player the messaging services market. In early 2020, Iurii moved to the position of Executive Chairman of the Board, focusing on the GMS’ strategic development.
Illia SolodovskyiMember of the Board / Chief Growth Officer
Member of the Board / Chief Growth Officer
Illia has been on the Board of GMS since 2006. Having graduated as a radio engineer in 1992, he has amassed huge experience. He spent a lot of time in his native country of Ukraine, as Chief Engineer and later General Director of different Ukrainian-Israeli JVs. He served as MD of a Swiss innovative manufacturer of system solutions for EDP and telecommunication cabling worldwide for a decade.
Illia then spent 9 years on the Board of a leading Ukrainian system integrator and partner of major national telecom operators.
Illia’s interests are not limited to just telecommunications. In 2014, he co-founded a professional cloud-based platform which provides cities and drivers with a comprehensive parking management solution.
Eugene ZiminMember of the Board / Chief Innovation Officer
Member of the Board / Chief Innovation Officer
An accomplished professional who has worked 25+ years in the IT space, Eugene Zimin’s experience encompasses tech, entrepreneurship and tech investment. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and a post graduate degree, both from Kiev Polytechnic University.
Eugene has been closely involved in a variety of ambitious projects in various fields, with particular focus on engineering and design of telecom networks and software development for banking and card payment corporate solutions.
With a keen interest in Fintech companies, Eugene has invested in several of them. He also founded Pri-Num UK, a partner of VISA Inc and a vendor for other worldwide payment companies.
Eugene has served as a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament and as both Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer for Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal operator.
Eugene joined the Board of GMS in 2013 and has used his wealth of experience to guide GMS to greater visibility and provide valuable advice and inputs.
Robert RoseMember of the Board / Chief Strategy Officer
Member of the Board / Chief Strategy Officer
Robert has more than 25 years’ experience of the digital information business and for the last 15+ years has been closely involved in the expansion of mobile messaging. Between 2007 and 2017 he was Senior Director of what is now SAP Mobile Services, long-established as the world’s largest messaging hub. Within SAP Robert’s main area of responsibility was the development of messaging revenues arising from the entire global telco customer-base. In this role he established productive relationships with mobile operators all over the world and secured consistent revenue growth throughout his tenure. He has now taken the opportunity to join GMS as Chief Strategy Officer helping the company achieve its goals of geographical growth and service evolution at a time of significant change in the mobile messaging ecosystem.
Charles UpchurchChief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Charles has more than 25 years’ experience as a CEO. He has led organizations from a 5-person technology start up to a 4,000-person global business unit in the service industry. Charles started his professional career in the offshore oil & gas exploration industry where he obtained U.S. Coast Guard Master’s license. Later, Charles moved to Switzerland where he began 16-year career with SGS, the world’s largest inspection, testing and certification company, in Europe, Asia and North America. Then Charles led technology startups in Switzerland for 15 years primarily in IOT and has been an Executive Coach for the past 4 years. Charles has joined GMS as Deputy Managing Director in June 2019. In February 2020 he has taken on the role of CEO, bringing his wealth of experience and vision to help build upon the GMS success story.
Alexander PanovChief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer
With a Master’s Degree in Finance from Kiev National Economics University, Alexander has been helming financial matters at GMS since its inception. His keen business acumen has steered GMS from a start-up to a global player. Alexander is responsible for financial and managerial planning, budgeting, financial analysis, cash flow control, communications with banks and state authorities, as well as business planning and evaluation of new products, amongst others.
Vitaliy GardyutoChief Technical Officer
Chief Technical Officer
A consistent internal award winner at all his employers throughout his illustrious career, Vitaliy is vastly experienced in his chosen line of work, both by education and by profession. Before he commenced charting his destiny with GMS, he helmed the technical side of things at several big names in the CIS telecom world, successfully overseeing technical projects essential to the growth of those companies. In Vitaliy, GMS has a CTO who lives and breathes his work and who has, together with the CISO, helped GMS to obtain vitally important ISO certifications.
Olga VelgusChief Marketing Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
A highly experienced Marketing and Communications professional, Olga came on board GMS to help the company successfully navigate its rapid international growth phase. Her deep understanding and insight of the field comes from her work experience at agencies as well as companies and gives her the invaluable ability to parlay the importance of marketing into the success and advancement of the company and makes her a crucial part of GMS. Apart from a Master’s Degree in Marketing, she also holds a Diploma in Public Relations and brings clarity of thought and coherence of vision to the table.
Victor AndreuChief Information Security Officer
Chief Information Security Officer
Victor Andreu hails from Barcelona. He studied telecommunications engineering in that city, completing his Master Thesis at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA. Victor has been active in the field of IT, particularly Information Security for more than 13 years, working for several multinational companies. This gave him the chance to travel to more than 50 countries, interact with over 80 nationalities, which is why he feels very much at home in a multicultural environment. Possessing CISA, CIA, BS7779, BS25999 and CCSK, the responsibility of optimizing our IS strategy and improving information security throughout GMS lies in his capable hands.
Alexandra SpirigChief Legal Officer
Chief Legal Officer
Our Chief Legal Officer, Alexandra Spirig brings more than 20 years of international technology industry experience to her role. She possesses a legal degree from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, a postgraduate diploma (LL.M.) in European and Business Law from the University of Leuven in Belgium and is admitted to the Zurich bar. An expert in international telecoms and contract law amongst others, she has previously completed stints at two of Switzerland’s top telecom providers. Widely travelled and used to dealing with countries as varied as the United States, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India, Singapore, Japan and Australia, she is a perfect fit to take up the crucial role of CLO in our global company.
Mark HeavenChief Commercial Officer
Chief Commercial Officer
Mark Heaven, has close to two decades of international experience in his area of expertise. He has a successful track record of business growth, creating and executing business development strategies, leading commercial functions across multiple sectors. He is well-versed in commercial expertise and operational efficiency. An authentic leader with proven leadership skills, Mark motivates his team to aim high and work harder. He applies analytical thinking to improve processes and guide strategies and decision making. Mark holds an MBA and a post-graduate diploma in business management, both from Nottingham Business School, UK.
Syed AliChief Operations Officer
Chief Operations Officer
As a COO, Syed brings into the company close to 15 years of high quality and varied experience in the telecom and ICT industries. Syed’s strategic leadership will steer the company to grow extensively and sustainably at an international level. His expertise in international commercial management, wholesale and retail international roaming and A2P SMS monetization with leading telecom operators makes him an important addition to the GMS management team in the role of the Chief Operations Officer.
Virginie DebrisChief Product Officer
Chief Product Officer
Virginie has been working in the mobile industry for more than 15 years occupying various positions, from business development to international operations and product management. She has honed this experience providing services for operators and enterprises such as multi-channel customer engagement, RCS messaging, IoT and monetization services – gaining a profound appreciation of all aspects of the telecom sphere in the process. Virginie provides her expertise through different groups and forums, including various Mobile Ecosystem Forum, GSM Association and CTIA workgroups. She holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunication Systems Engineering and an MBA in Marketing.
Yurii PryimaChief Business Development Officer
Chief Business Development Officer
Yurii has more than 20 years of experience in transforming Sales and Marketing functions in global IT and Telco companies to enhance their performance. Having occupied key positions in B2B Sales and Marketing, Yurii possesses a deep understanding of the product development cycle while also being a seasoned Sales Management and Business Development consultant.
At GMS, Yurii is responsible for Business Development with Enterprise Customers around the globe as well as for key Partners’ acquisition, enablement and engagement to scale and grow Enterprise Business. Holds an MBA from Kyiv-Mohyla Business School; certified Coach and Facilitator in Miller & Heiman Sales Management Methodologies.
Olena DovhanetsChief Human Resources and Administration Officer
Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer
Olena holds an MSc in Psychology from Kiev National University. She is a certified coach of Ericsson College International. With 20+ years of experience holding key positions in various areas of Human Resources, she is an expert in her field and very well-suited to efficiently manage and add to GMS ever-growing staff. Her pragmatic approach to business and her skill at balancing the interests of a company with employee expectations are her hallmarks. She believes in decision-making based on common sense and economic feasibility. Olena is a highly-regarded professional in her area of expertise and embodies the GMS values of commitment, integrity and progress.
Ivetta TalapovaChief Executive Officer / Chief Financial Officer GMS Ukraine
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Financial Officer GMS Ukraine
Having joined GMS from the day of its foundation, Ivetta played a crucial role in setting up financial processes from scratch and tuning all financial flows as GMS grew internationally. Ivetta’s career philosophy is simple: to advance in business, you need to actively follow your goal, explore new territories, and not be afraid to overcome difficulties. Having come to the telecom business from a large national metal trading holding, where she held senior positions for many years. Ivetta has successful experience in building a business from scratch, financial management, and reorganizing companies during crisis. Now, with more than 12 years of experience in telecommunications, Ivetta is responsible for compliance control, interaction with government regulatory and supervisory bodies for GMS Ukraine, and also serves as the Deputy CFO for GMS Global. Ivetta holds a degree in economics and business management from the International Personnel Academy (Member of the European Network of National Information Centres of Academic Recognition and Mobility Council of Europe/UNESCO).
Information security and compliance
As a company working with information, GMS is well aware of the threats to information security, and we are committed to providing the best kind of data protection and security to our partners. With phishing, fraud, ransomware, data breaches and leaks crowding the headlines, information security is paramount. Being methodical, disciplined and alert in all business operations at all levels, staying up to date with the latest encryption and protection protocols, upholding the highest standards of transparency and security – all these efforts are mandatory for telecommunications companies today. More importantly, none of these measures done once guarantee protection, because even the most secure system will become vulnerable again unless it is constantly updated. Security is not a state, it is a process, requiring a responsible attitude and daily work. At GMS, we realize the risks and put the security of our partners’ information at the top of our list of priorities.
We do not tolerate negligence when it comes to cybersecurity and stand up to the challenge of keeping our partners’ data safe. A testament to our commitment to the global standards of quality, transparency, and security is GMS’ compliance with the industry’s highest standards for security procedures and all other business operations. Organizing and systematically maintaining all levels of our operations to consistently, year after year, pass the ISO certification process is an effort and expense that we do not neglect because the security of our partners’ data is of utmost importance to GMS. ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO 9001 testify to our commitment to security and compliance. Having an impeccable compliance history, we are the perfect partner for operators looking to work with only those suppliers who can abide by the highest security and compliance standards and guarantee data protection.
Clients and partners
Let’s grow your business together
Contact us to find out how you can benefit from our expertize