LightSquared on Tuesday announced that Sanjiv Ahuja has resigned from his role as chief executive officer. Chief network officer Doug Smith and and CFO Marc Montagner will serve as interim co-CEOs, and Ahuja will continue to serve as chairman of the board. Additionally, LightSquared’s billionaire founder Philip Falcone has been appointed to the company’s board of directors and has reiterated LightSquared’s commitment to low-priced 4G alternatives. “We are, furthermore, committed to working with the appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues,” Falcone said. “We, of course, agree that it is critical to ensure that national security, aviation and the GPS communities are protected. I am confident that working together, we can solve this problem and bring the American consumer the lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve.” Read on for LightSquared’s press release.
LightSquared Undertakes Search for New CEO; Affirms Intent to Build Wireless Network
Sanjiv Ahuja Steps Down As CEO; Chief Network Officer Doug Smith and Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner to Serve as Interim Co-Chief Operating Officers; Philip Falcone Appointed to Board
RESTON, Va., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — LightSquared today announced that Sanjiv Ahuja has resigned his position as chief executive officer. He will continue to serve as chairman of the board. Doug Smith, currently chief network officer, and Marc Montagner, currently chief financial officer, will be named as interim co-chief operating officers, while the company completes the search for the new CEO. In addition, Philip A. Falcone, CEO and CIO of Harbinger Capital Partners, has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. The CEO search is expected to be completed in the near future.
“Sanjiv has shown great leadership in bringing the LightSquared vision to this point, including leveraging his experience in the telecom industry to sign dozens of critical partnerships across the country,” said Mr. Falcone. “As the company takes the next step forward, we continue to be excited about the prospects and look forward to working with new leadership to accomplish our goal of building and operating an innovative, competitive wireless network.”
“LightSquared’s objective, through its wholesale business model, is to provide increased competition and lower prices in the telecommunications industry, and to bring broadband cellular phone service to rural areas that currently don’t have such service and that has not and will not change. That has been our vision from day one,” said Mr. Falcone. “The absence of affordable and reliable wireless service options is frustrating for consumers, particularly in these challenging economic times.”
“We are, furthermore, committed to working with the appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues. We, of course, agree that it is critical to ensure that national security, aviation and the GPS communities are protected. I am confident that working together, we can solve this problem and bring the American consumer the lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve,” Mr. Falcone added.
Mr. Falcone noted that the company is also taking an aggressive approach to its finances to ensure that it has adequate financial runway while it works through these issues.
“During my tenure at LightSquared, we all worked tirelessly to create the nation’s first open wireless broadband network and provide consumers with a new wireless broadband experience,” Mr. Ahuja said. “That work continues and I wish the company and its fine management team well as they work to achieve this important goal.”
As chief network officer, Mr. Smith is responsible for LightSquared’s network design, deployment and operations, and is the lead architect behind developing the technical characteristics necessary to bring to market a competitive high-speed wireless network. Previously, he held a number of leadership positions at Clearwire and Sprint Nextel, managing technical, engineering and network operations.
As chief financial officer, Mr. Montagner is responsible for the company’s daily financial operations and oversees investor and bondholder relations. He has nearly 25 years of experience in financial and corporate development for the wireless communications sector, including working for such companies as France Telecom, Morgan Stanley, Sprint Nextel and Banc of America Securities, the investment banking arm of Bank of America.
“Doug and Marc have been recognized leaders in the industry and bring an exceptional combination of experience, intellect and character to the management team,” Mr. Falcone said. “They also know our opportunities and challenges as well as anyone, and are uniquely suited to lead the company forward. I look forward to working closely with them to bring affordable, reliable and high-speed wireless connectivity to all Americans.”
Co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang has resigned from all of his positions with Yahoo, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. Yang co-founded Yahoo in 1995 with David Filo and served as a member of the Board of Directors since March 1995. Yang was also the company’s CEO from June 2007 to January 2009, until he was replaced by Carol Bartz. ”My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life,” said Yang in a statement. “However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future.” Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock praised Yang, calling him both a visionary and pioneer. “We appreciate Jerry’s comments and share his enthusiasm for the company’s prospects. With Scott Thompson leading an outstanding team of Yahoos to deliver innovative products and an engaging customer experience, Yahoo!’s future is bright,” said Bostock. Yahoo’s press release follows below.
Yahoo! Announces Resignation of Jerry Yang
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan 17, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Yahoo! Inc. YHOO +3.76% , the premier digital media company, today announced that Jerry Yang has resigned from its Board of Directors and all other positions with the company, effective today. In addition, Yang resigned from the Boards of Yahoo Japan Corporation and Alibaba Group Holding Limited, effective today.
In a letter to the Yahoo! Board Chairman Roy Bostock, Yang wrote:
“My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future.”
Yang co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in 1995 with David Filo and served as a member of the Board of Directors since March 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from June 2007 to January 2009. The Company went public in 1996.
“Jerry Yang is a visionary and a pioneer, who has contributed enormously to Yahoo! during his many years of service,” said Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board. “It has been a pleasure to work with Jerry. His unique strategic insights have been invaluable. He has always remained focused on the best interests of Yahoo!’s stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and more than 700 million users. And while I and the entire Board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel. On behalf of the Board, we thank Jerry and wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.”
Bostock concluded, “We appreciate Jerry’s comments and share his enthusiasm for the company’s prospects. With Scott Thompson leading an outstanding team of Yahoos to deliver innovative products and an engaging customer experience, Yahoo!’s future is bright.”
“I am grateful for the warm welcome and support Jerry provided me during my early days here,” said Scott Thompson, Yahoo!’s Chief Executive Officer. “Jerry leaves behind a legacy of innovation and customer focus for this iconic brand, having shaped our culture by fostering a spirit of innovation that began 17 years ago and continues to grow even stronger today. Jerry has great confidence in the future of Yahoo!, and I share his confidence in the enormous potential of Yahoo! in the days ahead.”
“I want to make sure that the employees don’t believe that I’ve abandoned them. I would never abandon them.” Those are the words of former Yahoo chief executive officer Carol Bartz who was fired from the firm over the phone last week but who said she would remain on the company’s board. Bartz no longer has a position on the board as of Monday, however, and it is possible that is a result of a recent interview with Fortune during which Bartz said Yahoo “f***ed me over” and called the rest of the company’s board “doofuses.” “On September 9, 2011, Carol Bartz resigned from the board of directors of Yahoo! Inc., effective immediately,” Charles Sipkins, a spokesperson for the board said in an email obtained by Reuters on Sunday. Bartz’s words could have cost her $10 million, according to Fortune which noted the exec had a non-disparagement clause in her contract with Yahoo.
The tech world erupted Wednesday night as Apple visionary Steve Jobs announced that he was stepping down from his role as CEO, passing the torch to former chief operating officer Tim Cook. Every analyst and pundit who was awake had his or her say on the matter, but one man in particular offered his thoughts from a perspective few have enjoyed. “He really has had to sacrifice a lot to run Apple,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told BYTE in an interview on Wednesday evening. “I mean, just your time, everybody wants you day and night, that’s what I mean by sacrifices. It takes so much out of anyone to be under just contant [sic] pressure and demands like that.” Wozniak continued, “Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time.’ He deserves it.” On whether or not Jobs’s departure might have a negative impact on Apple’s business, Wozniak noted, “You’ve got to remember. He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple … and those people are still there. I don’t think the core Apple culture will change because of (Jobs’) leaving, not for a long time. Apple is set up. It just needs to stay financially responsible.”