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Former Sprint PCS exec joins @Road board

Just six months after retiring from the wireless carrier, former company president Charles Levine joins the board of @Road, a provider of wireless tracking systems.

Former Sprint PCS President Charles Levine didn't stay retired for long.

Just six months after retiring from Sprint PCS, Levine has joined the board of directors of @Road, which sells and manages wireless tracking systems.

His appointment to the board was announced Tuesday. @Road is one of a handful of companies that use Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to track packages, staff numbers or vehicles.

The company in October reported a third-quarter net loss in 2002 of $2.8 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $9 million, or 20 cents a share, in a comparable period in 2001. Revenue rose 8 percent over the quarter to $11.5 million.

Levine left Sprint PCS in September to retire to his ranch in California, the company said at the time. He was replaced by Len J. Lauer, then-president of the company's long-distance division.

Sources said Levine's departure from Sprint was hastened by a drop in the wireless telephone unit's total number of subscribers, the result of a higher-than-expected decrease in the number of its Clear Pay program subscribers. Clear Pay targets low-income customers and sets a spending limit on phone calls.

While Clear Pay helped Sprint PCS gain new customers, it was never a favorite with Wall Street. Analysts said customers didn't spend enough money on phone calls or on extra services, such as wireless Web surfing, to make the subscriber strategy pay off.