The Red Thread - My Fortunate Life In Telecommunications

H. Brian Thompson is Executive Chairman of GTT, the premier cloud network provider to the world. Powered by its global Ethernet and IP backbone, GTT operates the most interconnected network on the globe from its headquarters in the Washington, DC metro region and offices in Chicago, Denver, London, Frankfurt, Milan and Cagliari, Italy.

Thompson continues to head his own private equity investment and advisory firm, Universal Telecommunications, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia, focused on both start-up companies and consolidations taking place in the information/telecommunications business areas both domestically and internationally. UTI has played a key role in the formation and/or management of companies such as Neustar, Comsat International, GTT, iTown Communications, and the Fiberutilities Group.

As a veteran senior executive of the telecommunication industry, Thompson has been instrumental in impacting the rise of competitive telecommunications both in the U.S. and abroad.

From December 2002 to June 2007, Thompson was Chairman of Comsat International, Inc. (CI), one of the largest independent telecommunications operators serving all of Latin America. He also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global TeleSystems Group, Inc. from March 1999 through September of 2000.

Thompson was Chairman and CEO of LCI International. He joined LCI in 1991 and, with his team, led the turnaround of the company and its emergence as one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies in the U.S. Subsequent to the merger of LCI with Qwest Communications International Inc. in June 1998, Thompson became Vice Chairman of the board for Qwest until his resignation in December 1998.

Thompson previously served as Executive Vice President of MCI Communications Corporation from 1981 to 1990, with responsibility for the company’s eight operating divisions, including MCI International. During his 10 years with MCI as a senior executive, he contributed greatly to that company’s growth from $230 million to $8 billion in revenue and to the internationalization of the company.

Prior to MCI, Thompson was a management consultant with the Washington, DC offices of McKinsey & Company for nine years, where he specialized in the management of telecommunications and technology enterprises.

He currently serves as a director of Axcelis Technologies, Inc., Pendrell Corporation, Penske Automotive Group, and Sonus Networks, Inc., and formerly served on the boards of ArrayComm, Bell Canada International Inc., Comcast UK Cable Partners Limited, DynCorp, Williams Communications Group, Inc., and Golden Books.

He serves as a member of the Irish Prime Minister’s Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lab School of Washington & Baltimore Lab. He is a former chairman of the U.S. Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), and also served on the University of Massachusetts Chancellor’s Executive Committee, as a Trustee of Capitol College in Laurel, MD, and Trustee of the St. Stephens and St. Agnes School Foundation in Alexandria, VA.

Thompson served as the Co-Chairman for the Americas and 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. For Ireland’s Department of Public Enterprise, Mr. Thompson served as Chairman of both the Advisory Committee for Telecommunications and, more recently, the Advisory Committee on Infocoms. For the period January-March 1999, he served as Chairman of Telecom Eireann, Ireland’s incumbent telephone company.

Thompson spent four years in the US Navy as a diving/demolition officer in the EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) branch from 1962-1966, and worked for The Kendall Company, Monsanto, and Celenese in chemical engineering research before completing graduate school and entering the business world.

Thompson received his MBA from Harvard’s Graduate School of Business (1968) and holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts (1960).

“Read this book. Learn from Brian's experience at less personal cost than he has paid. His candor and insights are reflected in the colorful fabric of his remarkable career.”

-- Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer