Clearwire’s search for a new CEO as ended, with the company announcing today that has promoted Erik Prusch to the company’s president and CEO positions, with interim CEO (and board chairman) John Stanton shifting to Executive Chairman of the company’s board. Clearwire’s board had formed an executive search committee back in March in the wake of the resignation of CEO Bill Murrow; it looks like they didn’t need to search much further than down the hall, since Prusch had been serving as Clearwire’s chief operating officer in the wake of Murrow’s departure. Both changes are effective immediately.
“Erik has demonstrated the ability and talent necessary to lead our organization through one of the most competitive periods in the mobile broadband industry’s short history,” said Stanton, in a statement. “I strongly believe that under his guidance our business will deliver value to shareholders as we continue to grow our business and leverage our unmatched and unencumbered spectrum advantage.”
The announcement follows closely on the heels of Clearwire’s most recent financial results, which had the company posting a 168.7 million loss for its second fiscal quarter of the year. Although the company managed to double its revenue year-on-year and has been working to expand its network coverage, its existing 4G network is based on WiMax technology, which is seeing increased competition from the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and soon LightSquared should be launched wholesale LTE services that will eventually reach poorly-served areas of the United States. Clearwire announced last week that it plans to build LTE capabilities into its existing WiMax network—focusing on current 4G markets at first—but it’s not entirely clear where it’s going to get money for the roll-out: the company inked a billion-dollar long-term agreement with Sprint, but other Clearwire investors like Google have seemed loathe to put more money into the company.
However, Prusch has solid fundraising credentials: he joined Clearwire as CFO in 2009 and was a major player in securing $6 billion in equity and debt financing to fuel the company’s network rollout. Before Clearwire, Prusch served as CFO at Borland and VP of Finance at Intuit.