HAMILTON, Bermuda -- The board of directors of FLAG Limited, owner and operator of FLAG (Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe), announced today that Andres B. Bande has been elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 12, 1998.
FLAG is the world's longest undersea fiber optic cable system, linking Europe, Asia and the Middle East through 13 landing points in 11 countries.
Bande joins FLAG from Sprint Corporation, where he has been president of Sprint International since 1996.
"Andres has the experience and understanding of international telecommunications markets to position FLAG as a market leader, and we are extremely pleased with his decision to join us," said Daniel C. Petri, acting chairman of FLAG. Petri, who is president of Bell Atlantic Global Systems, will continue to serve on the FLAG board.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead a visionary, high-potential company like FLAG," said Bande. "FLAG is uniquely positioned to serve the explosive growth in global telecommunications, and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Before joining Sprint, Bande was president of Ameritech International Corporation, where he launched the company's international strategic investment unit and expanded its holdings to nearly $4 billion. Before joining Ameritech, Bande was executive vice president of U S West International. Prior to that he was president of Teleconsult, an international telecommunications consulting practice. Bande was chairman of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans during the presidency of George Bush.
A recognized expert on international trade, investment and telecommunications, he is a frequent speaker on telecommunications privatization and finance, and has published several articles and papers on those topics. He holds a law degree from the University of Chile and a master's degree in politics and international law from Oxford University.
With landing points in Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the FLAG undersea cable system offers approximately 75 percent of the world's population access to a broadband superhighway intended to meet the soaring demand for communications services.
FLAG is the first major submarine cable system to be financed by private investors rather than international carriers, and as such is distinguished from traditional cable systems because its services can be flexibly and responsively packaged and priced for a competitive market. FLAG began commercial service last month with more than 60 international carriers as customers.
Investors in FLAG include Bell Atlantic Corp. of New York; the Dallah Al-Baraka Group of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Telecom Holding Co., Ltd.; Marubeni Corp.; the Asian Infrastructure Fund; GE Capital Services; and Gulf Associates Inc.