Latin American industry veteran Jose Antonio Rios has been named president for Latin America and the Caribbean of Global Crossing Ltd, a US firm dedicated to integrated telecommunications solutions.

Rios has also been named senior vice president of the firm and will serve as a member of the company's management committee. He will be based in Miami and report directly to Global Crossing CEO Tom Casey.

Rios was formerly president and CEO of Telefonica Media, a position he left last summer amid rumors of tension between the growing multimedia filial and then soon-to-be ousted Telefonica chairman Juan Villalonga.

A native of Venezuela, Rios is considered one of the original engines behind Telefonica's aggressive acquisitions expansion into Latin America. He also helped negotiate the merger of Telefonica internet filial Terra with US giant Lycos.

Prior to Telefonica Media, Rios was the founding president and chief executive officer of Galaxy Latin America (GLA), where he masterminded the launch of direct-to-home digital satellite provider DIRECTV in Latin America.

Before joining GLA, Rios was COO and corporate vice president of powerful telecoms and media conglom the Cisneros Group. He is also currently chairman of the supervisory board of Endemol Entertainment, a Telefonica Media holding.