Top 10 data centre leaders

Top 10 data centre leaders
In celebration of some of the leading figures across the industry, Data Centre Magazine shines a spotlight on executives from the likes of Equinix and NTT

In this week’s Top 10, Data Centre Magazine walks through 10 of the industry’s leading executives spearheading digital transformation, being the driving forces behind the ever-evolving interconnected world. 

10. William Meaney
Role: CEO
Company: Iron Mountain

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At the helm of Iron Mountain for the last decade, under Meaney’s leadership, the company has expanded its global footprint and diversified its services beyond physical document storage to include digital transformation solutions. Before joining Iron Mountain, Meaney served as CEO of The Zuellig Group and spent a number of years in the airline industry.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master’s degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of the Asia Business Council and The Council on Foreign Relations, as well as on the Board of Directors of State Street Corporation and is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital President's Council.

9. Brain Cox
Role: CEO
Company: STACK Americas

Brian Cox

Cox brings more than two decades of industry and operational experience to STACK. Before joining the growing company, he was CFO and then COO of Cologix, where he was latterly responsible for market positioning, strategy, marketing and commercial management, growing the business from a startup with one data centre into an international platform with 25 locations across the US and Canada.

On his appointment as STACK Americas CEO in 2018, Cox said: “The chance to join and grow a company with a strategy focused on customer-led, next generation hyperscale and enterprise data centre solutions is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are perfectly positioned to build on our existing platform and expand into other markets, with a goal of rapidly scaling the business to meet the unique needs of our customers.”

This year, Cox was recognised as one of the National Safety Council (NSC)’s 2023 CEOs Who “Get It” for his commitment to creating a culture of safety standards, safety innovations, and safety transparency.

8. Chad Williams
Role: Chairman and CEO
Company: QTS

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Having served as Chairman and CEO since founding QTS in 2005, under Williams’ leadership the company has grown to become one of the largest and fastest growing data centre service providers in the US. His vision of obtaining and revitalising infrastructure rich, large, scalable properties in growing markets has become the cornerstone of QTS’ business strategy. 

Williams is directly involved in helping to build all aspects of the business and has been a leading voice to build QTS’ portfolio of hybrid colocation and hyperscale solutions. He said that QTS’ core strategy is “securing access to infrastructure at scale in strategic markets to support accelerating demand from our hyperscale, enterprise, and government customer base”.

Prior to founding QTS, Williams served as CEO of  commercial real estate company QGC and continues to be actively involved in numerous charitable efforts. He serves on the board of the US Dream Academy, an organisation supporting children of incarcerated parents.

7. Makoto Takahashi
Role: President
Company: KDDI Telehouse

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President since 2018, Takahashi has also been SVP and Member of the Board since 2007. He has held a number of roles during his tenure, including Executive Vice President, General Manager for Value Business Sector and Corporate Strategy Planning Division and Senior Vice President, General Manager for Group Strategy Sector. Takahashi joined the business in 1984, after graduating from Yokohama National University with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

6. Eric Schwartz
Role: CEO
Company: CyrusOne

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Succeeding CyrusOne from Founder Dave Ferdman, Schwartz had a long stint at Equinix, with his internal progression culminating in the role of the company’s Chief Strategy and Development Officer. 

“Eric brings tremendous experience as a leader to CyrusOne, having served as an executive at Equinix for 16 years, including leading the EMEA region for over a decade, leading the development of data centres for large-scale customers and playing an integral role as a member of the company’s global leadership team,” Infrastructure Partner at KKR Waldemar Szlezak said on Schwartz’s appointment.

Citing his career at Equinix at Equinix as important to the recruiting process to become CEO of CyrusOne and his subsequent success, Schwartz is also a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School. 

5. Robin Khuda
Role: Founder and CEO
Company: AirTrunk

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Billed as an exceptional leader and passionate manager with a charismatic approach to his work at large, Robin Khuda is no stranger to tackling complex tasks head-on.

AirTrunk’s Founder and CEO, Khuda has a wealth of experience across the data centre industry, having been a founding member of NEXTDC and its subsidiaries, where across his time with the business he held roles including Executive Director, CFO, CCO and Head of Sales and Marketing, as well as being a member of the Board of Directors. 

A committed and hardworking individual praised for his dedication and attention to detail, Khuda established AirTrunk as a technology company with a powerful purpose, to scale and sustain the relentless growth of the region's digital future. As a result, Khuda has received a number of awards in recognition for his achievements in the data centre space and for opening up opportunities for those from minority backgrounds.

4. William Wei Huang
Role: Founder, Chairman and CEO
Company: GDS

Prior to founding GDS, Huang served as a SVP of Shanghai Meining Computer Software Co.. Established GDS in 2001, the company is now a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centres in China and South East Asia under Huang’s leadership. With a client base of more than 850 customers — predominantly hyperscale cloud service providers, large internet companies, financial institutions, telecommunications carriers, IT service providers and large domestic private sector and multinational corporations, — representing the leading companies driving the technology revolution in the areas it serves, the company boasts a fleet of data centres with large net floor area, high power capacity, density and efficiency and multiple redundancies across all critical systems. 

3. Yo Honma
Role: Representative Director, President and CEO
Company: NTT DATA Group Corporation ​​​​​​​

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Overseeing all facets of the NTT DATA Group's operations, under Honma’s leadership the group empowers more than 190,000 professionals across more than 50 countries globally.

He joined NTT in 1980 and has held a variety of roles across the group, President and CEO of NTT DATA., Representative Director and SVP of Japan and Asia Region as representative director and senior executive vice president.

A keen advocate for digital evolution, Honma has been the first Chief Data Officer of the city government of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture since 2020 with the aim to resolve issues facing the city through digitalisation. He has also authored Green Tomato - Key messages for corporate management surviving in the digital era to share real-life cases and encourage Japanese business leaders to drive digital transformation.

2. Andy Power
Role: President and CEO
Company: Digital Realty

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Also serving as Digital Realty’s CFO, Power has held a variety of executive positions across a multitude of industries, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. Power was also a member of the lead underwriting team that advised Digital Realty on its initial public offering in 2004. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Finance from Wake Forest University.

“Andy has worked tirelessly to help broaden Digital Realty's presence and value proposition, enhance the company's financial flexibility and build the world's largest data centre platform,” Digital Realty Board Chairman Mary Hogan Preusse said of Power. “Andy has a clear vision for the Company's future and a strong track record of execution.”

Power added: “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this irreplaceable platform and our enormously talented and driven colleagues into the future.” 

1. Charles Meyers
Role: CEO
Company: Equinix

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Responsible for leading Equinix’s strategy, innovation and continued track record of growth, execution and service excellence, Meyers partners with more than 10,000 Equinix colleagues worldwide to be in service to one another and the customers, partners, shareholders and communities where Equinix operates.

Since joining Equinix in 2010 armed with more than 25 years of executive experience, Meyers has shaped the company’s strategy and continued industry leadership, including doubling the number of global IBX data centres, evolving the capabilities of Platform Equinix, building ecosystems with thousands of the world’s leading businesses as customers and quadrupling revenues during his tenure.

Before joining Equinix, Meyers worked for some of the world’s leading technology and IT companies, including at Verisign, Level 3 Communications and BellSouth. 

He has a Dual Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and McCormick Graduate School of Engineering as well as a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado.


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