Three Clearwire Execs Leave, Including The CEO

Three Clearwire Execs Leave, Including The CEO

Is something afoot at Clearwire? To many, WiMAX has been a dying technology. LTE clearly has the Lion's share of the support globally, and many carriers (like Yota in Russia) have already switched their 4G service loyalty from WiMAX to LTE. But Clearwire is still a big deal, and Sprint's growing 4G consumer base relies on those airwaves. But this week, suddenly, the company's CEO decided to step down. There have been rumors that Clearwire and Sprint weren't exactly getting along, but definitely no rumors of the CEO just outright departing.

But that's what has happened. The executive leadership team is changing, with CEO Bill Morrow stepping down and John Stanton, chairman of Clearwire's board of directors and former CEO of Western Wireless and VoiceStream Wireless, being named CEO of Clearwire on an interim basis, effective immediately. He'll retain his role as board chairman as well, presumably to return when a full-time CEO is found. Morrow cited "personal reasons" for the departure, which usually always means something more. Did he disagree with the direction of the company? Did he sense impending changes that he wasn't ready to tackle? It's impossible to know, and it's also anyone's guess as to what this means for Clearwire going forward.

Being the CEO of a 4G services company that's second place already can't be easy. But will a change at the top be what Clearwire needed to make a real run at LTE? In related news, rik Prusch, Clearwire's CFO, has been promoted to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO). In this position, Prusch will be responsible for the company's day-to-day operations, including wholesale and retail sales, marketing, customer service, supply chain, human resources, IT and network operations. In addition, Hope Cochran, Clearwire's senior vice president and treasurer, has been promoted to the position of CFO. Cochran will be responsible for all of the company's financial and investor related functions, including overseeing Clearwire's ongoing fundraising efforts.


The company also announced that Mike Sievert, chief commercial officer, and Kevin Hart, CIO, are both leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Both Sievert and Hart will remain with the company for a transition period. That's three executives (including the CEO!) out in a single day. That definitely doesn't happen often, and it has to have shook Clearwire to the core. According to the company, these departures will not delay the ongoing discussions to settle disputes with Sprint over licensing pricing, and Clearwire still thinks that a deal with Sprint is "imminent."

It should be very interesting to see what transpires in the 4G world here in the coming months. Will Clearwire change directions? Will it just become stronger? Will LTE benefit or suffer in any way? Let the mobile broadband drama begin!
0
+ -

I am speculating here, but I think this is easily understood to a large percentage. Some think Sprint owns Clearwire which they don't as far as reality, and of course licenses go. They do however own 60% of Clearwire, and are also both the major developer for there technology, and the largest user of it as well. So this is not to surprising as it is looking like Sprint is going to change to both LTE, and they are in active talks to buy T-Mobile as well it looks like.

I really find that interesting because Sprint in general has been a CDMA cellular service provider. However T-Mobile is a GSM provider big on the 3.5G called (unrealistically I think 4G) by the or with the "4G" tag. So this may seem counter intuitive to many for that reason, but if you think about it Wimax and LTE are really software using basically mostly the same hardware components.

On the 3.5G deal I am not sure of this, but imagine it can be adapted . The main think here is towers T-mobile is not great coverage wise although they are decent in some areas Towers can be adapted for anything, and include the real estate as a bonus.

SO with that outlined I can kind of see why this is happening. If it is coming from Sprint I don't know how smart it is really. Yes the outgoing CEO was concentrating on Wimax, but he got that direction from the man who is now the CEO. So in that sense it does not make a lot of sense if they did. In the long run I think LTE wiil be the victor here no matter the CEO.

0
+ -

I remember Intel being heavily involved in WIMAX.

Does this change anything on that front?

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: