Amanda Nelson, CEO, Vodafone Hungary

  • 10 Dec 2020 5:17 PM
Amanda Nelson, CEO, Vodafone Hungary
Amanda is an internationally experienced CEO, passionate about creating healthy organizations that are both successful and sustainable.

Having spent the last 20 years with Vodafone, working in Chief Finance, Commercial and CEO roles, she's a highly rated leader who can inspire and engage - also she's a keen advocate of diversity and inclusion and women’s equality. 

Her experience extends globally, from Vodafone Group in the UK, to Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Malta and Hungary.  Amanda has been Chief Executive at Vodafone here since January 2018, and the Chairman of the Board in Hungary since May 2019. 

In August 2019 Vodafone acquired Liberty Global’s UPC business in Hungary, and she is currently leading the integration of the two businesses. Outside work she loves spending time with her family, and is a keen marathon runner.

1. How did Vodafone Hungary contribute to helping Hungary to survive the Covid crisis and to aid the recovery of the country’s economy?

We always have been a purpose led business – and as the crisis hit we turned our immediate attention to keeping Hungary connected at all times. 

In the first days of the pandemic, we announced our 5-point plan, which was developed specifically for the duration of the health crisis.  In the plan, we expressed our commitment to supporting our customers, employees, partners, the Government and the whole society.

As part of a global leader tech company, we feel our responsibility to support the country’s digital health, digital education and the digitalization of SMEs especially in these extremely difficult times. 

2. Please tell us about the main milestones that your company has achieved during the past year.

We are past a rather eventful and productive period in this field, we have introduced a lot of developments to Hungary that will make the lives of many easier or better in the future - which I am extremely proud of.

Last October, we launched Hungary's first outdoor 5G network available to everyone in Budapest, providing countless opportunities for both industry and the public.

We started this year with the digitalisation of healthcare: in January we launched the LifeSaver application together with the National Ambulance Service, which make it faster and easier to call for an ambulance for those who get in trouble. In February we presented an external robotic skeleton (Exoskeleton), which can reduce rehabilitation after spinal cord injury or a stroke.

In the spring, we continued the process of the UPC-Vodafone integration with passing many great milestones, and then purchased additional frequencies to develop our 5G network in order to bring the benefits of the next-generation network to the biggest Hungarian cities.

3. What was the most important contribution of mobile technology for the general development of the world’s economy and the everyday life of society in 2020?

I am convinced that in 2020 more people than ever before could experience the power of telecommunications and info-communications on their own skin. By mobilizing extra capacity, service providers have sought to serve their customers under unprecedented workload in order to ensure a smooth transition to home office and distance education. I believe we have done everything we can to keep the country connected and I am proud of our industry.

4. How business and everyday life of society will change in a post-pandemic world?

I think a lot of things have taken on new meaning, new priorities and new methods have proved successful during the pandemic, some of which will certainly remain in the future. In business, in many cases, these changes are rational changes that increase efficiency, and in everyday life we may be better able to enjoy a meeting, a conversation, we will be more appreciative of everything we have.

5. Where did you grow up?

In a small village in East Anglia, UK.  Very happy memories of my childhood in the UK.

6. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

So hard to choose – we’ve enjoyed everywhere we’ve lived (7 countries now).  But if pushed – I would say Asia again.  Japan for 3 years was an amazing experience and I’d love to explore the region more.  Plus the food…

7. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?

The amazing balance that Budapest has – world class (and most beautiful) city, with all the culture and entertainment options, right next to the most beautiful (wild) green spaces, hills and trails.  I can run down to the river and be next to the Country’s Parliament building one day and the next be completely on my own – perhaps with a few wild boar – in the Buda Hills.  Truly unique.

8. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

A walking tour along the River and further into the city, plus an escape room.  As many cafes and restaurants along the way.

9. What is your favourite food?

A big soft spot for French cooking!

10. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?

Trail running is a passion.   Either here in Hungary – or near my holiday home in the French Alps.

11. What is your favourite place in Hungary?

The Buda Hills.

12. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

I always wanted to work for the BBC and read the news.

13. What’s a job you would definitely never want?

Cleaner. I can wash and iron – but cleaning somehow is a struggle!

14. Where did you spend your last vacation?

In the French Alps.

15. Where do you hope to spend your next one?

In the French Alps, we have a family home there.

16. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

I am an ’80s girl and used to listen to a lot of Aha and Pet Shop Boys if I remember.

17. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

Well, has to be very dark chocolate (95% or above).

18. Red wine or white?

White – I have a lifelong love of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from our 2 years there.

19. Book or movie?

Would have been book always before kids.  No time now – so movies it is!

20. Morning person or night person?

So much a morning person!

21. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

Human trafficking. It is outrageous that there are more slaves in modern slavery than ever in the peak of the slave trade period.  It just goes on under our noses unnoticed.

22. Buda or Pest side?


23. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?

Having 4 wonderful kids and a supportive husband – while pursuing my passion for leading large organisations.  It feels like a dream to have both my personal and career aspirations met.

24. What would you say is your personal motto?

We have a family motto: "Living Life Adventurously for God".   It’s what motivates us to live and engage in so many different parts of the world, make amazing friendships and hopefully leave an impact for good.

  • How does this interview make you feel?