Management Shakeup in LightSquared, Falcone Appointed to the Board

Management Shakeup in LightSquared, Falcone Appointed to the Board

On Tuesday, LightSquared announced the resignation of CEO Sanjiv Ahuja. He will continue to serve as the chairman of the board.

In the interim, Doug Smith, chief network officer, and Marc Montagner, chief financial officer, will serve as co-chief operating officers during the company’s search for a new CEO. This is expected to be “completed in the near future.”

Other changes included the appointment of  Philip A. Falcone, CEO and CIO of Harbinger Capital Partners, to LightSquared’s board of directors. His company is an investor in LightSquared.

Lengthy quotes by Falcone had been included in the company’s press release. They alluded to the regulatory problems the company is undergoing.

“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. 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.”

Ahuja’s resignation comes as the company battles to extend its wireless network and compete with the big boy carriers such as AT&T  and Verizon. But it’s been a very public challenge.

With its present regulations, LightSquared’s spectrum doesn’t have the licenses for terrestrial transmissions that would allow it to disseminate wireless phone signals; its spectrum currently extends to only satellite services, according to CNN.

In effort to expand nationally as wireless carrier, LightSquared hit a huge speed bump earlier this month when the FCC said no to the company launching its network due to concerns that the company’s network would produce GPS signal problems.

The company will continue to pursue its network expansion even with its management changes.


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