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Gaia-X Association announces new Chief Executive Officer and new Chief Technical Officer

Brussels, 03 March 2021 – Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL is pleased to announce the appointment of Francesco Bonfiglio as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Pierre Gronlier as Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

Francesco Bonfiglio takes over the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as of 8 March 2021 from Hubert Tardieu (Atos), who had been leading the non-profit association on an interim basis. Bonfiglio brings more than 30 years’ experience in the IT sector, including executive roles in large, multinational companies such as Engineering, Hewlett Packard, Avanade, Unisys and Rational Software, independent advisory roles in boards and start-ups, and a co-founding position in, an AI-centric Startup Studio.

“Participation in Gaia-X by hundreds of partner organisations bears witness to the common need for a new platform of rules and technologies that can make concepts like data sovereignty, interoperability, and transparency truly concrete, tangible and measurable. This is the objective of Gaia-X, the success of which will mark an irreversible boost for the Digital Economy, not just for Europe.”, says the father of three children and active musician. “As an IT professional and European citizen, I’m honoured and thrilled by the opportunity to contribute to a project that can shape a better future, not for the IT sector per se, but also for Europe’s economy and for ourselves and our loved ones.”

Leading the association at Bonfiglio’s side will be Pierre Gronlier. He takes over the position of chief technical officer (CTO) from Prof. Dr. Boris Otto (Fraunhofer ISST), who previously held the post on an interim basis. Pierre Gronlier has been working in the IT industry for the last twelve years, with a particular focus on operationalising and scaling systems in the field of real-time communication and cloud services. With a penchant for science and an academic background in embedded real-time systems and applied mathematics in signal processing and machine learning, he started as a research engineer in video compression before joining Skype and Microsoft in Estonia. He then moved to OVHcloud in France as a Cloud Solution Architect. Pierre Gronlier has already been contributing to the development of Gaia-X over the past few months. For example, he was involved in the development of the first Gaia-X prototypes and already chairs the Gaia-X Technical Committee.

“Transparency, interoperability and trust are more than just words. It is the embodiment of values that make Gaia-X a unique and unprecedented initiative. I’m super excited to join Gaia-X as its CTO and I’m convinced that it’ll change the way we, citizens, governments, industries are going to consume IT resources in Europe and beyond”, says the rock climber and enthusiastic hackathon participant.

The new CEO and CTO will continue to be supported by Hubert Tardieu as Chairman and Prof. Dr. Boris Otto as Vice Chairman as well as the entire Interim Board of Directors. Members of the Board are Servane Augier (3DS Outscale), Jean-François Cases (Amadeus), Martine Gouriet (EDF), Thomas Hahn (Siemens), Lars Nagel (International Data Spaces Association), Alban Schmutz (OVHcloud), Olivier Senot (Docaposte), Harald Summa (DE-CIX) and Sebastian Schlosser (BMW Group). On 7 June 2020, the General Assembly will take place, at which the new Board of Directors will be elected.