Executive Team

Anna Cicognani

CEO and Managing Director

Anna has served as CEO and other C-level roles in public and private Companies, such as APN, PMP, Telstra, and Fairfax, and publicly listed startup GeoOp. She has been involved in digital media and technology projects of all sizes, as an operator and an investor, for over 20 years. She has also published peer-reviewed research papers, articles and book chapters on virtual worlds, linguistics and design.
Her passion for all things digital and innovation has delivered high growth and turnaround outcomes.

Anna was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney, she’s a Honorary Professor at the University of Wollongong in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, and a Director on the Board of Athletics Australia.

Carlo Leonessa

Head of Operations

Carlo is an experienced operations and program leader with experience across multiple industries. In the last 15 years he led multiple projects for NSW Transport and provided executive leadership for a national telehealth company, Healthdirect Australia.
Carlo’s role on the Orbx team is to ensure efficient and timely delivery of programs and production.

Carlo holds a Bachelor of Science from Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration with the University of Technology, Sydney.

Holger Sandmann

Head of Geospatial

Passionate about aviation and flight simulation, Holger has two decades of experience working with geospatial data and imagery, creating representations of real-world landscapes and ground scenery for a variety of flight simulation platforms. Since joining Orbx in 2008, he has contributed to many of the company’s products and is supporting airport and scenery developers in the acquisition and processing of source data.
Holger holds an MSc in geography from Philipps University (Marburg, Germany), and previously worked on research projects in forest and landscape ecology at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada).

Andrew Stevens

Chief Technology Officer

As a seasoned expert in cloud architecture and artificial intelligence, Andrew brings a wealth of experience from the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, with a focus on driving growth and innovation in the technology sector. His career features multiple successful exits and acquisitions, particularly in travel, media, and technology industries, where he has been instrumental in scaling technology solutions that support significant audiences and create substantial stakeholder value. His deep knowledge spans across cloud strategy, machine learning, data science, and cybersecurity.

Andrew is currently completing a Master of Science in Data Science at the University of Colorado, where he continues to deepen his expertise in actionable data analytics and machine learning, crucial for advancing Orbx’s innovative product lines.

Marina Elyeh

Head of Marketing

Marina is an experienced Global Marketing Specialist, with over 20 years of diverse experience within marketing. She has successfully navigated through various industries, including EdTech, cleantech, finance, retail, and FMCG, encompassing both B2B and B2C markets. Marina’s journey in marketing has been marked by her commitment to delivering exceptional results through a customer-centric and data-driven approach.

Marina holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and has held several leadership roles both locally and internationally. Her expertise spans across Strategic Marketing, Digital Strategy, Campaign Management, Sales, E-commerce, and PR. She also has a passion for start-ups and has a track record of managing successful new product launches, globally. Marina’s ability to excel in diverse markets along with her effective leadership and collaboration skills are real assets for the marketing strategy and operations at Orbx.

Sante Sottile

Relationship Manager

With a decade of experience in both technology and aviation, Sante successfully merged both of his passions by joining Orbx in early 2021. Prior to Orbx, Sante held other positions at government agencies (Provincial Health & Services Administration), and Managed Service Provider (Long View Systems).

Sante brings a wealth of knowledge in the fields of flight simulation and technology with a degree in Aviation Technology from Sault College. He also has a degree in Korean Language studies from the University of British Columbia. This unique combination has already resulted in the development of several successful products, customer growth, and increased brand awareness (through collaboration with our excellent marketing team). He continues to cultivate important relationships that drive Orbx into its next chapter of growth. Whether you find Sante camping with his two sons around Seoul or constructing simulators in his spare time, it’s his passion for aviation that empowers him to overcome challenging scenarios.

Umut Mert

Business Development Manager

With a background in engineering and a successful track record in business development, Umut’s experience spans across managing delivery of technology solutions and services, fostering enduring partnerships and implementing innovative solutions at airports, airlines and aviation software companies.
With an Aeronautical Engineering degree and an MBA in Aviation, Umut brings a dynamic blend of technical expertise and business acumen to his role at Orbx.
Whether for work or leisure, he loves being up in the air, and he will be welcoming challenging problems to solve for our business partners.