Alain Rolland, co-founder, chairman and CEO
As co-founder and chief executive officer of EBlink, Alain leads the company’s mission to provide better deployment solutions for the mobile network industry, using innovative wireless technology.
Alain created EBlink in 2005, after 13 years of experience in the mobile network industry. Driven by his vision for more flexible deployment solutions and smaller base stations in an evolving, high-growth market, he patented an innovative wireless system and assembled a highly qualified team to develop and market it. Since the company’s creation, Alain has successfully raised 20 million euros in investment capital. Under his leadership, EBlink is now installing its technology in commercial sites through contracts signed with international mobile network operators.
In 1992, Alain founded IP6, a company providing design and deployment services to mobile network operators. He served as CEO until 2005, managing a team of 20 people. During this time, Alain developed several innovative software solutions, helping customers deploy thousands of sites in Europe.
Alain is a graduate of the EPITA school in Paris, and holds a computer engineering degree with a specialization in scientific software development.
Christian Bittar, co-founder, COO and board member
As co-founder and managing director of EBlink, Christian is responsible for the company’s operations and finances. Together with CEO Alain Rolland, he raised equity funds and built the foundation for achieving EBlink’s vision of better mobile deployment through the Wireless Remote Radio Head TM solution.
Christian served for 10 years as CEO at Creatifs Groupe, an event company that provided full turnkey design and construction services for large trade shows and their sponsors and exhibitors. In that role, he guided the company’s growth from 100 employees and 15 million euros in revenue to 700 employees and revenue of 100 million euros. Christian acquired extensive experience in private and public financing when he led the company through an initial public stock offering, followed by its registration on France’s Second Marché securities market and its subsequent acquisition in a leveraged buyout.
Prior to that, as chief engineering officer for a Sudanese manufacturer, he optimized the process and production of an important manufacturing plant in Sudan that provided consumer products under Unilever licenses.
Earlier in his career, he served as project manager for L’Entreprise Industrielle (EI), where he led large electrical installation projects.
Christian has a degree in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering from ESTP and a master’s in business administration from INSEAD.
Chris Burke, board advisor
EBlink board member Chris Burke’s career in telecommunications, IT and technology spans more than 30 years in both Europe and North America. He has held technical and management responsibilities at a telecom equipment supplier (Nortel), a fixed-line carrier (Energis), a wireless service provider (Vodafone), and a consumer device manufacturer (Research In Motion – RIM). His most recent public-company position, which he left in 2009, was RIM’s managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
From 2001 to 2004, Chris was chief technology officer (CTO) at Vodafone UK. From 1997 to 2000, he was CTO and chief information officer at U.K.-based Energis, where he helped take the company public and onto the FTSE 40. Previously, he spent 15 years with Bell Northern Research and its parent company Northern Telecom in a variety of roles, including software development, operations and ultimately sales.
Chris, who has extensive experience in helping guide companies through stock offerings and acquisitions, has served on several boards of directors. He was chairman of Ubiquity Software during that company’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2005 and its 2007 sale to Avaya. He was lead independent director of March Networks during its 2005 IPO, director at Oz Communications when it sold to Nokia in 2008, and a director and investor in Dialog Semiconductor when it completed a successful secondary offering in 2009. He currently serves on the boards of Dialog Semiconductor and Kontron (both listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange), as well as several venture and private equity-backed companies.
Chris divides his time between board positions, numerous advisory roles and his investment and advisory business, Buster Burke Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Can.
Jean-Jacques Damlamian, board member
EBlink board member Jean-Jacques Damlamian retired from France Telecom, Europe’s third-largest telecommunications company, in 2004. His long and distinguished career there concluded as executive director of the company’s technology and innovation group, where he was responsible for R&D, innovation and intellectual property management for France Telecom Group. He served from 1995 to 2003 as executive director of the company’s development branch, with responsibility for strategy, international business development, R&D and information systems.
As the company’s commercial director from 1991 to 1995, he diversified France Telecom’s products and services and reorganized the sales department and the sales network around major market segments.
From 1989 to 1991, Jean-Jacques was director of France Telecom’s industrial and international affairs, where he accelerated the company’s international expansion by making overseas investments in Telecom Argentina and Mexico’s Telmex. Previously, he held positions in various France Telecom departments, including the CNET R&D laboratory, the regional directorate of the Ile de France, director of international and overseas operations (DTRE), and deputy director general of the general staff.
Since 2006 he has been President of the Institute of Economic and Social Research on Telecommunications (IREST). Jean-Jacques also is a recipient of the French Legion of Honor.
A graduate of France’s École Polytechnique research university, Jean-Jacques received a graduate degree in engineering from the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, now known as Télécom ParisTech.
Giuseppe Donagemma, board member
EBlink board member Giuseppe (Beppe) Donagemma brings valuable insights and contacts to EBlink from his years of working with many of the world’s largest service providers and network infrastructure suppliers.
He has been heading the Europe Region of Nokia Siemens Networks, and has more than 18 years of communications industry experience, including managing key accounts and organizations in Europe, Asia and Africa.
He started his career in 1993 working on telecommunications projects for Siemens in Greece, and Italtel in China. In 1994 he joined Nokia, where he became account manager for Omnitel Pronto Italia, and then in 1999 he was appointed general manager for networks marketing and sales in Southern Europe and Africa.
In 2003, Giuseppe was appointed global marketing and sales vice president for Nokia’s mobile networks business unit. Two years later he became chairman and managing director for Nokia Italy. In 2006, after the formation of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), he assumed responsibility for the networking and telecom equipment company’s Vodafone Global business unit. In 2009, he began leading NSN’s 30-country European region, the company’s biggest unit.
Giuseppe earned an electronic engineering degree as well as a non-degree Executive Masters in Strategy and Leadership from Italy’s University of Padova.
Christophe Gilbert, board member
Christophe Gilbert is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Christophe Gilbert International (CGI), and the founder and director of HR Worldwide, two leading services companies for the global telecommunications industry. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in advancing high-technology services in the global telecom industry.
Christophe began his career in telecommunications in 1989 as a foreman for Graniou, conducting surveys and managing the building of base stations throughout France for Radiocom 2000, France Telecom’s first GSM wireless telecommunication network. In 1991, he deployed with Matra telecommunications the first GSM network for SONATEL in Senegal. Five years later, he launched his own services company, which he sold to France Electronique in 1995.
At France Electronique, Christophe built the telecommunications department and grew its revenues from 17 million to 67 million euros. In 2000, France Electronique was sold to ADC, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer based in the U.S., and Christophe helped achieve the integration of the two companies before founding CGI in 2002.
Working for Alcatel in Nigeria in 2003, he oversaw the network deployment operations from start-to-finish for Globacom, which was launched that year as Nigeria’s first wireless operator.
Christophe founded HR Worldwide Ltd. in 2004 to take advantage of the emerging opportunities created by 2G and 3G network deployments in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 2007, he founded SAI Group in Ukraine and sold the business two years later.
Christophe holds degrees in electrical engineering and industrial IT from the University Institute of Technology in Evry.
Vivian Hudson, board advisor
Vivian Hudson is president and CEO of Square d'Urfé Consulting Inc., a Montreal-based IT and communications technology consultancy focused on strategic planning, market development, governance, mergers-and-acquisitions and sustainable development policies and practices.
From 2008 to 2012, she served as vice president and general manager of EXFO, a leading provider of next-generation, test-and-service assurance solutions for wireless and wireline network operators and OEMs. In that role, she was responsible for EXFO Service Assurance solutions that deliver end-to-end quality of service and quality of experience visibility and real-time IP service monitoring and verification.
From 1990 to 2007, Vivian held a variety of senior-executive positions at Nortel Networks, including general manager of network partner solutions, where she led the creation and implementation of the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative Communications Alliance Systems Integration business. She previously was vice president of Nortel’s global wireless operations in France, president and general manager of the wireless GSM division in France and vice president of Nortel optical networks. Earlier in her career, Vivian held senior analyst and management positions at major telecom companies, including Bell Canada and Canadian Pacific, where she managed the Trans-Canada telephone network.
Vivian serves on the boards of Morgan Schaffer, a leading supplier of dissolved gas analysis (DGA) data, equipment and informatics to the global electrical industry, and Nakina Systems, a provider of network integrity management solutions to the global telecommunications industry.
She has a bachelor or science degree in math and an MBA degree from McGill University.
François-René Letourneur, board member
François-René Letourneur joined iSource in 2000 as partner to launch T-Source, an investment fund that focuses on companies offering innovative telecom technologies and services. Prior to that, he served as Europe regional director for Intelsat, the global provider of satellite services. Earlier in his career, he led sales teams in the major sector accounts of electronics, aerospace and space at France Telecom, and he served in a number of sales and technical positions at IBM France.
François-René has extensive experience as a board member helping guide companies through an acquisition. He was on the board of ScreenTonic when it was acquired by Microsoft, SmartJog (acquired by TDF), Streamezzo (acquired by Amdocs), Let It Wave (acquired by Zoran Corp.) and Optogone (acquired by MEMSCAP).
In addition to serving on EBlink’s board, he is a board member of IMinent, Compario, EdXact and CaptainDash. François-René holds an engineering degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA) in Paris and an Executive MBA Degree from HEC Paris School of Management.
David Manjarres, board member
David Manjarres, deputy general manager of Masseran Gestion, has more than a decade of experience in private equity. Prior to joining Masseran, he served as investment director at Tikehau Capital Advisors and at CDC Entreprises. Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of positions at the French Defense Procurement Agency, including manager of business and technical intelligence for the common technologies service, R&D project manager and assistant deputy director for R&D in the electronic components department.
He is currently a board member of Presto Engineering, IPDiA and HPC Project.
David has an engineering degree from École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA) Bretagne and a master’s degree in management of technology and innovation from l’Université Paris-Dauphine.
François Paulus, board member
EBlink board member François Paulus is a Paris-based advisor to venture capitalists and investment funds on telecom acquisitions, as well as an angel investor and advisor to innovative companies in the telecom sector.
A veteran telecommunications executive and entrepreneur, he joined the French startup LDCOM Networks in 1999, shortly after it was established by the Louis Dreyfus Group following France’s telecom deregulation. During his nine years with the company, LDCOM acquired numerous companies, such as 9Telecom, Club Internet, AOL France and SIRIS. It then merged with fixed-line operator Cegetel to form Neuf Cegetel, which became one of the leading French broadband service providers. By the end 2007, it had a 49,000-kilometer fiber-optic network, and more than 3.2 million active residential customers and 173,000 business sites connected.
François served as general manager of Neuf Cegetel’s network division and general manager of its high-speed broadband division, and served for four years on its executive committee.
He began his career in 1989 as an independent IT consultant in London before joining a French telecom consulting firm, Pierre Audoin Consultants. In 1995, he set up his own marketing practice and became deputy managing director of Arcome SA. During 10 years as a consultant, he directed a number of projects for telecom operators wishing to enter the European market.
François earned a telecom master of science degree from the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, now known as Télécom ParisTech, and a master of business administration degree from INSEAD business school.
François Tison, board member
François is a general partner at 360° Capital Partners, a venture capital firm that focuses on innovative companies with strong growth potential. Since joining the venture capital business in 1998, he has made more than 20 investments in six countries. He began his venture capital career as an associate director at Nomura, and then served as senior vice president at Europ@web. Earlier in his career, he held a number of strategy and business-development positions in Paris and New York with France Telecom.
François holds a degree in telecommunications engineering from the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne (ENSTB) and holds an MBA degree from Columbia University in New York.