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Data Movers Episode with Staffan Göjeryd

From Sweden to the World: Meet Telia Carrier’s CEO Staffan Göjeryd

Latest episode of Data Movers covers how businesses can set themselves apart, the possibilities of the post-pandemic world and the charming Swedish town you should visit

At his first job, Staffan Göjeryd had the privilege of wearing many hats. It’s one of the experiences he credits with developing a well-rounded perspective that has allowed him to progress in his career over time and eventually reach his current position of CEO at Telia Carrier, which operates one of the world’s top tier 1 networks.

“The first job I had was at a little bit of a mom-and-pop shop internet service provider,” Göjeryd shared during his recent appearance on the JSA Data Movers podcast. “I was a salesperson, but at the same time, after you sold something, then you took the router under your arm, and you went out and configured it and set it up for the client as well. I think those kinds of things are actually kind of important when you look back at it because you understand a little bit more of the full chain of how a business works: the technical aspects, the selling aspects, and even the delivery part in that case.”

For Göjeryd, embracing many roles is what got him to the top job at Telia Carrier, which has a global reach and operates the #1 ranked Internet backbone. Göjeryd visited the JSA Data Movers podcast to talk about his career, the next five years for Telia Carrier, including recent U.S. expansions, and the Swedish town you’ve never heard of that you should put on your list of destinations.

U.S. Growth and Expansion

When it comes to standing apart from the competition, Göjeryd credits the personal touch of Telia Carrier’s customer service, but also the size and scope of its network.

As the first non-U.S. carrier to offer 100G service on both sides of the Atlantic, Telia Carrier continues to strive for what’s new and grow its existing footprint. With a U.S. presence since the late ‘90s, Telia Carrier has very consciously grown their network to meet modern technologies (the current one they’re after is 400G enablement) and gone to where the growth is.

Telia Carrier’s name has been in the news for its significant network expansion in the Americas and maintaining a competitive network in places where Telia Carrier already operates is top-of-mind for Göjeryd. That’s especially true as new needs emerge, including the demand for edge technology to bring services closer to the end user.

“We are very much at the core of connectivity services and…the global distribution of traffic,” Göjeryd said. “I think there is always going to be a gradual expansion of the footprint in the areas where we’re already present.”

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Like many telcos, Telia Carrier saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic with the rise in people working from home and the enormous need for connectivity, video services and high speeds. Due to the company’s global reach, Telia Carrier even experienced the spread of the pandemic from a unique perspective, with Asia, then Europe, then North America and Latin America suddenly increasing their need for internet speed.

“In that way, we can sort of almost follow, unfortunately, the way the pandemic spread globally and the way traffic surged in different regions,” Göjeryd said.  “We saw a full year’s growth in a couple of weeks.”

With the pandemic approaching an end, Göjeryd’s looking ahead to the next new normal and what it means for networks. For Telia Carrier, it will mean enhancing services where they are and continuing the gradual expansion that has made them a major player in networking.

“If I can really wish for where I would want to be, [it involves] Telia Carrier being present everywhere. Hopefully, we’re on that path of expanding our footprint into markets where we’re not present currently,” he said.

When he’s not thinking of expansions and Telia Carrier’s next steps toward enhancing its global network, you can find Göjeryd golfing, traveling for work (he especially loves revisiting his old stomping grounds on the East Coast), and he’s got a bit of advice if you do any traveling to the country where Telia Carrier is headquartered: Make sure you don’t miss the Swedish countryside, particularly the small town of  Vadstena, about 200 km south of Stockholm.

“It’s a beautiful area,” he said.

To hear Staffan’s entire interview, watch the video here or listen to the podcast now.

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