Ahuja Out as LightSquared CEO; Falcone Joins Board
By Joseph Orovic | February 29, 2012 8:24 AM EST
Wireless technology company LightSquared announced Tuesday the resignation of its embattled CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, with his replacement to be named in the future.
Billionaire Philip Falcone, chief executive of Harbinger Capital Partners, has backed the the Reston, Va.-based company, and was named to its board after Ahuja's departure.
Falcone's hedge fund has about $3 billion invested in LightSquared. The seemingly "all-in" strategy led a group of investors to file a lawsuit against Haringer and Falcone in federal court in New York..
Chief Networking Officer Doug Smith and Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner were named interim co-chief operating officers while LightSquared seeks a replacement for Ahuja, who will remain chairman of the board.
Ahuja's tenure since 2010 was marred with difficulties brought on by regulations, most recently when the Federal Communications Commission barred LightSquared from operating after concerns arose that its service interferes with navigation equipment aboard planes, boats and cars. The ban remains in effect.
LightSquared skipped paying its partner British satellite operator Inmarsat Plc while also cutting 45 percent of its 330-employee workforce, according to Businessweek.
The wireless provider has hoped to offer wholesale services to retailers, consumer electronics companies and wireless operators, reaching deals with Sprint Nextel and Best Buy.
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