Who: Elias Shams
Has held title for: 2 years
Previous title: CEO, telezoo.com
Elias Shams tames telecommunications. Bringing discipline to that industry is no small task, but this longtime techie knows how to crack the whip. By bringing together more than 350 telecom companies large and small at the "zoo," Shams and his team help buyers and sellers make smart deals.
What's up with the telecom industry?
It's a jungle out there. Even the tech-savviest shoppers can get swindled. Without an unbiased information source to consult, consumers are bound to make mistakes.
How do you soothe the savage beast?
Talk the same talk. Our search engine translates confusing telecom jargon into simple, user-friendly terms. The result? Informed buyers. What are your zoo credentials?
I've been in the field for 15 years, and I've played on both sides of the game. I understand the needs — and the frustrations — of both buyers and sellers.
Do you feed the animals?
They feed us. The telecom vendors pay to be "locked up." In exchange, they get a virtual marketing channel to expand their sales base.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.