Alan Harper becomes acting CEO of satellite firm Avanti

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Former Vodafone executive takes over as David Williams leaves CEO role without explanation

Alan Harper, strategy director of Vodafone until 10 years ago, is to become acting CEO of Avanti Communications until the satellite company finds a replacement for David Williams.

The company said that Williams “is stepping down from the board and leaving the company”, but added no more detail, though its statement included a quote from him.

Harper left Vodafone in 2007 and has since held a number of roles in the industry. He founded Eaton Towers with two other industry veterans, former Orange boss Sanjiv Ahuja plus Terry Rhodes, one of the founders of Celtel, which was bought by Zain and is now Airtel Africa.

He is chairman of Irish fibre company Gigabit and of solar power company Azuri Technologies. He is a non-executive director of South Africa’s MTN group.

London-based Avanti, sometimes described in the financial media as “troubled”, reported last month that it achieved fourth quarter revenues of “in excess of $16 million”, with total sales approximately $62 million. On the same day it announced a three-year loan of $100 million, which will be spend on repaying an existing $50 million loan and on completing and launching its Hylas 4 satellite.

Avanti says it has invested $1.2 billion in its network, including satellites, gateway stations, data centres and a fibre ring.