LightSquared CEO Resigns as Company Runs Into Interference
Wireless start-up LightSquared today announced that Sanjiv Ahuja is stepping down as CEO, with Chief Network Officer Doug Smith and CFO Marc Montagner named as interim co-chief operating officers while the company searches for a new CEO. Ahuja
will continue to serve as chairman of the board.
The move comes as the company is facing major challenges in its effort to build a wholesale 4G cellular network. The FCC and the NTIA, a federal agency that oversees government and military spectrum use, recently ruled that LightSquared’s network would interfere with GPS and other devices.
Shortly afterward, investors sued Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners for allegedly squandering billions of dollars in its “all-in” investment in LightSquared.
Meanwhile, wireless rival Clearwire is seeing an opportunity with LightSquared faltering. Not only does the company have valuable holdings in spectrum, it is now working to build its own LTE network, with hopes of having 5,000 sites by the middle of next year, AllThingsD’s Ina Fried reports from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.