European Communications’ CMO of the Year 2016, Vasyl Latsanych of MTS, says marketers should look beyond telecoms services and prepare to become future CEOs.

The exec, who was crowned with the award earlier this month, made the comments in his acceptance speech.

“Telecoms is a great area that we have grown [but] now it’s time to grow out of this area,” Latsanych said on a video link from Silicon Valley.

“This perimeter of telecoms, which has defined our existence in the past and has fuelled our development, now must fuel our development beyond telecoms.”

Latsanych believes telcos are “very able” to become leaders in the digital world.

“MTS has a vision of not only being the largest and most successful telecoms carrier in the countries of its presence but also being one of the largest and most powerful internet players in every market we are in and maybe even beyond,” the CMO said.

Latsanych admitted that the emerging revenues streams beyond telcos’ core business are often “miserable” at present, but said operators had no choice but to change.

The CMO of Year also had some words of wisdom for his peers.

“[The best marketers] should challenge people around them, help CEOs to develop the company in new directions and to grow into areas that were not even on the radar a couple of years ago.

“Whenever I think who the best marketing manager is, it is the person who is ready to become CEO but who is now just practising.”

You can watch this speech in full below.

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