Telecommunications: ERNIE ORTEGA
CEO, GTT COMMUNICATIONS INC., McLEAN
Ortega has spent his career in the telecom business since the days when a mobile phone couldn’t fit in your pocket. If you saw the movie “Wall Street,” Ortega says, you might recall the Motorola 8000 brick phone — it’s a model he used to sell.
Ortega now serves as CEO of GTT Communications, which runs a global Tier 1 internet network and offers cloud networking services. The 2,200-employee company has 71 employees in Virginia.
When Richard D. Calder stepped down as CEO in June 2020, division chief Ortega was named chief revenue officer. A month later, he was appointed CEO. He’s been working to restructure the company, shoring up its long-term strategy and aiming to transform it into “a more asset-light managed services business.”
In September 2021, the company divested its infrastructure division in an estimated $2.15 billion sale to a Miami firm, and in November, GTT and some subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Before GTT, Ortega served as CEO of Towerstream Corp., a telecom company in Rhode Island.
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: I was born and bred in San Francisco, so Giants, 49ers and Warriors.
FAVORITE SONG: That’s easy: “Thunderstruck,” by AC/DC