Channel Partners

December 29, 2006

3 Min Read
Brian Metherell

What do you get when you cross a surfer, a hockey player, an actor and a philanthropist, and then mix a little telecom biz in? Toshibas Brian Metherell.

Brian is vice president and general manager of Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecommunication Systems Division; he provides overall management and strategic direction for the division in the United States and Latin America, including responsibility for the U.S.-based R&D/product development organization, operations, customer service, marketing and sales. Phew! Now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about the man behind the title.

Being Canadian, some might say it is in his genes, but Brian has been playing hockey since the age of four thats 44 years of high-sticking. Also an avid snowboarder, water-skier and surfer, Brian feels his involvement in sports keeps him competitive and fuels his spirit to win.

However, in the late 80s and early 90s, it was the stage that Brian was surfing as a central character in an award-winning play that ran for nearly two years. He also did some acting and improvisational work with the Second City Comedy Group in Toronto. As my telecom career took off, there was just no time to continue with acting, Brian said. So, I am one of the few guys who moved to L.A. to quit acting.

Brian now proudly shares a large part of his life with charity. He, his wife and three children have been closely involved in Miller Childrens Hospital and the Jonathan Jacques Cancer run for 11 years. He also is a volunteer auctioneer for charity auctions, helping raise more than a million dollars for schools over the past 10 years.

First job: Brian was a paperboy at a young age and then got a job as lead hand on a cattle farm where he wrangled 300 head of cattle.

Words to live by: Never give up. Be relentless.

Thoughts on telecom: Telecom is undergoing the biggest revolution in its history. The migration from TDM-based voice communications to VoIP continues to drive radical change in the industry. We will continue to see an increased focus on the delivery of applications to mobile workers (anywhere anytime); open API will continue to enable very fast development of new features; and SIP-based standards will continue to evolve into a more fully featured offering. We also see a significant increase in business process integration linking the telephony applications directly with back-office software to drive increased efficiency and new levels of customer care.

A catastrophic event: Brian was president of General Telecom in 2001 and his office was in the World Trade Center at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Thirteen of General Telecoms 27 World Trade Center employees died in the tragedy. While enduring the loss of their friends and colleagues, the General Telecom employees were faced with the challenge of rebuilding the business or becoming another casualty of the telecom meltdown that was going on immediately after 9/11, said Brian. The recovery effort and world community outreach was an act of unparalleled kindness and support, he continued. I saw people accomplish things and rise to challenges they would never have believed they were capable of prior to 9/11.

Do you know someone who has Personality+? Were looking for interesting characters in telecom to take the spotlight! Please send nominations to Cara Sievers at [email protected].

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