Kim McMann, BT

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Kim McMann, BTKim McMann, President, Consumer Packaged Goods, BT (NYSE: BT) Global Services and President, U.S. & Canada, BT Global Services, may hold one of the longest titles on our list, but has gained a spot as the UK-based company moves to expand its brand recognition in North America. 

In the CPG segment, McMann oversees accounts focused on consumer goods companies that sell products that have a "quick shelf turnover" such as food, beverages, home and personal care, and tobacco. She and the US&C team are also responsible for providing professional services capabilities for a number of large regional accounts.

Interestingly, McMann is not from the telecom world, but the IT services world.

Before joining BT in 2010, she had long stints at both Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and EDS. In her last role with HP, she oversaw Enterprise Services' infrastructure technology outsourcing business in Asia Pacific, while at EDS she rose to the rank of president of business process management.

Having this service mentality will come in handy as she works to garner the attention of new large clients such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, which signed a multiyear managed services agreement with BT Global services earlier this year.

Although BT has had a presence in the United States and Canada for over two decades with one of the largest MPLS networks, one of McMann's initial drives is to increase its brand awareness. 

"When I look at challenges that we have one of them that I faced is that we are not really known in the U.S. and Canada yet we do a lot of work here, so one of my first missions was to reestablish our brand," said McMann in an interview with FierceTelecom.

McMann said one way they have tried to gain more recognition was having BT get involved in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer charity event last year, "which is great for employees as well as getting brand and market recognition."

Besides gaining brand recognition, the other challenge BT America faces is expanding its network through wholesale arrangements with existing incumbent service providers.

"Our physical presence of assets in the U.S. is not as strong and deep as it might be globally and we're up against large competitors like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) so probably the number one challenge for us is the fact that there are special access considerations we have to face," McMann said. "These issues cause companies like ours to have a strong competitive disadvantage in the marketplace when we have to pay what can be sometimes viewed as quite high fees to piggyback their broadband lines."

To overcome these challenges, McMann and her team have put together a multi-faceted growth plan that targets a few key areas: building out into new international regions to serve U.S.-based multinational corporations; providing managed and professional services; and crafting solutions for specific verticals like global banking and financial.