Telecom Lead Team: LightSquared today announced that Sanjiv Ahuja has
resigned his position as chief executive officer (CEO), following the
regulatory setback faced by the company by the recent changes in Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) policies.
Chief Network Officer Doug Smith and Chief Financial Officer
Marc Montagner will serve as interim Co-Chief Operating Officers, the company
said in a press statement. Philip Falcone, CEO and CIO of Harbinger Capital
Partners, has been appointed to the company’s board of directors.
The exact reason of the resignation is not revealed. According
to industry reports, Sanjiv Ahuja has been working without a contract since
mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. The company was first approved
by FCC in 2001 to use a combination of spot-beam satellites and ground base
stations to introduce nationwide 4G broadband, while relying only on existing
wireless spectrum. This move, however, was opposed by GPS-sensitive industries
such as defense and aviation, citing reasons that wireless technology could
interfere with current GPS equipment.
Earlier this month FCC said it would revoke a waiver that
would allow the company to use satellite airwaves for a terrestrial network,
citing concerns the network may interfere with Global Positioning System
signals. LightSquared was set to compete with major carriers like AT&T and
Verizon Wireless in the wireless wholesale industry.
CEO Sanjiv Ahuja urges FCC to change its stand
In an official letter to FCC recently, Sanjiv Ahuja urged
FCC to change its stand that affected the company’s $4 billion investment in
After years of receiving regulatory approvals, the FCC
approved LightSquared to build its ground network in 2005. In 2010, the
FCC amended that plan, requiring LightSquared to build a national broadband
network that reached 260 million Americans. At the government’s mandate,
LightSquared began investing billions of dollars in America’s infrastructure
without asking for any money from the American taxpayer. Yesterday, after
LightSquared had already spent nearly $4 billion, the FCC changed its
mind. There can be no more devastating blow to private industry and
confidence in the consistency of the FCC’s decision-making process,” the
Falcone added the company is committed to working with the
appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues.
“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 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.”
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,” Falcone added.
“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 Falcone.
“The absence of affordable and reliable wireless service options is
frustrating for consumers, particularly in these challenging economic
Falcone also said 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.
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