The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the global non-profit council of the world's leading graduate schools of business and management, today announced the appointment of Sangeet Chowfla as president to succeed David A. Wilson, who has served for the past 18 years as both president and CEO. Chowfla will join GMAC as president in September and assume the CEO role on January 1, 2014.
Chowfla is a globally recognized and respected executive with deep experience in the technology, telecommunications and venture capital sectors. Beginning his career in New Delhi with IBM/IDM, Mr. Chowfla went on to spend 18 years with the Hewlett-Packard Company in positions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the U.S., culminating in his tenure as vice president and general manager of the Inkjet Media Division from 1995-2001. Chowfla then moved to Timeline Ventures as a partner in the venture capital partnership, where he participated in both acquisition and post-acquisition management efforts. In 2007, upon leaving Timeline Partners, Chowfla became the chief strategy officer and executive vice president of the Mobile Services and Global Market Units of Comviva Technologies, a leading Indian telecommunications software company. While at Comviva, Chowfla led multiple business units; dramatically improved revenue performance; drove Comviva‘s push into Mobile Financial Services, where it is now a top-three player; led the acquisition of an important Indian software developer; and expanded the company’s global reach and presence, with offices in 15 countries and customers in more than 100.
Indian by birth, Chowfla is a U.S. citizen currently residing in New Delhi, India. He will relocate to Northern Virginia as part of assuming this new role. Chowfla took his BA in Economics from St. Stephen‘s College at Delhi University and his MBA, with focus on marketing and finance, from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University. (See Chowfla’s bio, below.)
“Sangeet Chowfla is just the kind of chief executive the GMAC board had in mind when we began our CEO search earlier this year,” said James Bradford, outgoing chairman of the board of GMAC and dean and Ralph Owen Professor of Management at the Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University. “His global business experience, his understanding of technology and its impact on consumers, and his understanding of the way companies must anticipate, plan for and actively engage in the changing global marketplace, are all skills GMAC will need moving forward. We couldn‘t be happier with the appointment, with the prospects for GMAC’s future or with the person we have chosen to make those prospects a reality.”
“I sought this opportunity because it has such great promise for leading a company with not only a great brand and a history of success, but also a company poised for greater success in the future. The Council -- the work it does and the products it makes -- has the potential every day to positively change someone's life,” Chowfla said.
“I know for myself that taking the GMAT exam and the opportunities it opened up for me were life-changing,” he continued. "GMAC is a great success story, and Dave and the management team have built a foundation any company would be proud of. My job will be to take that strong foundation -- GMAC 2.0, if you will -- build on it, shape it for the future and establish a new, even stronger GMAC: GMAC 3.0. I am excited by the challenge and gratified that the board has chosen to entrust me with this great company, its terrific management team and its world-class staff.
“Mr. Chowfla is joining GMAC at a time of great opportunity as well as change in the graduate management education marketplace,” said Dina Dommett, incoming chair of the GMAC Board (July 2013) and executive director, Leadership Programs, London Business School. “The globalization of management education has been a constant, yet today that globalization is occurring at a faster pace and with technology playing an ever greater role. Mr. Chowfla's experience as a technology executive, his international experience as a manager and leader, coupled with his understanding of global markets, are perfectly suited to the challenges facing GMAC, and I look forward to working with him. The London Business School is committed to helping GMAC navigate the changing marketplace, and Mr. Chowfla is a terrific choice to lead that effort.”
Patrick J. Shooltz, chair of the GMAC CEO search committee and senior vice president and regional director at New Boston Fund, Inc., said, “Mr. Chowfla‘s selection to lead GMAC is the result of a search that was global from the minute it began. GMAC was very fortunate to have attracted a deep and diverse pool of extremely talented applicants. We received interest from more than 100 highly qualified potential candidates, and the search committee interviewed many of those in making this selection. I believe GMAC’s status as an industry leader in assessments, its global reach and the attraction of leading such a dynamic organization at this important time in its history allowed GMAC to recruit such a sterling choice for CEO as we have in Mr. Chowfla. I compliment the work and dedication of the search committee and the full board in reaching this outstanding result.”
About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council (gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam), used by more than 5,800 graduate business and management programs worldwide. GMAC is based in Reston, Virginia, and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam -- the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide -- is continuously available at more than 570 test centers in 110 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com. Please visit gmac.com/newscenter.
Sangeet Chowfla Biography: Sangeet Chowfla has more than 32 years' experience in P&L Management, General Management, Product Management, International Business Development and Venture Capital investment, gained in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East. His particular area of expertise is the management of high-growth enterprises, the creation of high performance teams and the internationalization of business.
Most recently, Sangeet was EVP-Global Markets and Chief Strategy Officer at Comviva Technologies for the past five years. Comviva is a Bharti and Sequoia backed telecom Software Company that provides messaging, content and financial service solutions to mobile operators and banks in more than 80 countries globally. He managed the company‘s customer-facing Market Units (SAARC, Africa, MENA, LATAM, Europe/Americas) with sales/revenue responsibility. In addition to this regional responsibility, he also managed global key account teams for FT, Vodafone, MTN, Tigo and Etisalat. Previously, Sangeet managed the company’s Mobile Solutions unit, which comprised of all the product business units (messaging, entertainment, financial services, and device clients) with full P&L responsibility for each. He set up Comviva‘s operations in Africa and Latin America and led the push into Mobile Financial Services. Comviva is currently a global top-three provider of mobile financial service solutions and powers such brands as Orange Money (France Telecom), Hello Money (Barclays), Tigo Cash (Millicom), and Wings (ANZ bank), among others. Sangeet also led the acquisition and integration of Jataayu software. During his tenure, Comviva’s overall revenues quadrupled to approximately $100 million, while international business grew 12-fold with a customer base of 110 mobile operators in 85 countries. As CSO, he advised the board on long-term strategy and direction. Comviva was sold to Tech Mahindra in 2012.
Previously, as a partner with Timeline Ventures in San Diego (2001-2006), Sangeet was an investor and board member of a number of communications and software companies. He participated in the acquisition and turnaround of Del Mar Datatrac (mortgage software, sold to Fiserv). He was a board observer and was charged with driving the company‘s go-to-market strategy. Sangeet was the lead investor and Executive Chairman of Technocom (wireless location, partially sold to Kapsch TraffiCom). He led the company’s Series A round of financing, assembled the syndicate and set pricing and terms. Post-financing, Sangeet was appointed executive chairman and advised the management team on business scalability and alliances. Sangeet also led the Series C financing round at Emagia (enterprise software) and served as a board member, personally mentoring the first-time entrepreneur/CEO.
Earlier in his career, Sangeet held various management positions at the Hewlett-Packard Company over an 18-year period.
Sangeet joined HP as its computer group sales manager for the eastern Mediterranean in 1983 (based in Athens, Greece) and was instrumental in starting operations in Turkey and Egypt. When HP entered the printer business, Sangeet moved to Germany to manage the Europe wide dealer channel for printer products. Sangeet then moved to Singapore as VP for printers and mass storage for Asia Pacific, a business that grew to over $2 billion during his tenure. When HP decided to start its first non-U.S. printer division in Singapore, Sangeet was appointed to manage global marketing for this business. In 1995, Sangeet moved to San Diego, California, where he was Vice President and General Manager of HP's Inkjet Media Division, which he grew from a startup to $300 million in revenues. During this period, Sangeet served as the engagement manager for the HP/Kodak alliance and led the sale of the transparency business to 3M for more than $200 million.
A global citizen, Sangeet has worked and lived in India, Dubai, Greece, Germany, Singapore and the United States.
News Source: Graduate Management Admission Council