Mariano Amartino is the new Global Director of Wayra, Telefonica’s startup accelerator. Sources close to the company have told Novobrief that the announcement was made internally yesterday and that Mariano will start in his new role right away.
Mariano, who was born in Argentina but currently lives in Madrid, has been the Latam Director of Wayra for almost two years, after having spent much of his career in various media companies (Uberbin, Livra, Hipertextual or Clarin) and other startup-related positions (Fon).
He comes to fill the gap created with the departure of Gonzalo Martín-Villa from Wayra, who served as their global CEO for more than three years. This week we also reported that Simon Devonshire, Wayra’s European Director, was stepping down from his position.
The announcement comes at an interesting time for the Telefonica-owned accelerator.
Since Gonzalo left, Wayra has become part of Telefonica’s Open Future initiative, which is being led by Javier Placer (nephew of Telefonica’s president Cesar Alierta). As we mentioned at the time, Placer’s choice was interpreted by many internally as a win for Alierta and not for Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, who many consider an ideal candidate to replace Alierta once he retires.
It’ll be interesting to see the next steps in Wayra’s development. Two of its 14 accelerator programs were shut down in recent weeks (Ireland and CEE) and some sources say more changes might happen in the near future.