Clearwire names new president and CEO

The 4G wireless provider has promoted its Chief Operating Officer Erik Prusch to president and CEO.

Mobile broadband provider Clearwire has a new president and CEO.

Chief Operating Officer Erik Prusch has been promoted and will take over the reins as president and CEO, effectively immediately, the company announced today. Interim CEO and chairman John Stanton will become executive chairman of the board of directors.

Clearwire, which has been working on an ambitious nationwide 4G push, had seen a management shakeup this past March when CEO William Morrow resigned, prompting the board to put Stanton in charge for the interim. At the time, Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert and Chief Information Officer Kevin Hart also left the company.

Prusch came on board Clearwire in August 2009 as chief financial officer and helped raise the necessary capital to fund the company's expansive growth. During his time as CFO, sales rose by 427 percent and subscribers grew by 1,353 percent, the company said. Prusch had been promoted to chief operating officer in March.

Related stories:
• Clearwire announces LTE shift as losses mount
• Clearwire: We're not dumping WiMax
• Sprint CEO: 4G plans to come in the fall

Before joining Clearwire, Prusch was president and CEO of Borland Software, which was acquired by Micro Focus two years ago. Prior to that, he was was the vice president of finance at Intuit, CFO at Identix, and a vice president at Gateway Computers.

"Since joining Clearwire I have witnessed tremendous growth and change in the mobile broadband space and I recognize the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead," Prusch said in a statement. "John and I, as well as the rest of our senior leadership team, are focused on successfully executing the critical tasks needed to grow our business and fully leverage our significant spectrum assets in order to keep Clearwire on course as a leader in mobile broadband and the largest 4G provider in the United States."

Lately, Clearwire's fortunes have been a mixed bag. The company has been adding subscribers and boosting revenue at a healthy rate. But it's been racking up some major losses as it continues to spend more money to grow further. It most recently reported a loss of $227 million in the first quarter as its operating expenses have shot up.

Clearwire, which has been working with Sprint and other companies to roll out a nationwide 4G network, uses WiMax for its 4G technology. But WiMax has been facing increasing competition in the U.S. from the other 4G flavor--LTE--which has already been adopted by AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

 

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