LightSquared even darker after CEO resignation

01 March 2012 |


Troubled telco LightSquared is undertaking the search for a new CEO following the resignation of Sanjiv Ahuja.

Ahuja’s resignation comes in the wake of a decision by the FCC this month to revoke LightSquared’s conditional approval to use repurposed satellite spectrum for its national LTE network in the US.

It is also amid controversy about his relationship with the Obama administration after emails revealed LightSquared’s close contact with officials during the regulatory review.

The position may be difficult to fill with such a bleak outlook for the company. Last week LightSquared said that it would lay off nearly half of its 330 staff to save money. The company also failed to pay satellite company, Inmarsat, $56.25 million for the use of its spectrum.

Despite recent setbacks, Philip Falcone, who is CEO and CIO of LightSquared’s largest investor, Harbinger Capital Partners, said that the company was still committed to finding a solution to its regulatory issues:

“We are committed to working with the appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues”. He continued: “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 also implied that LightSquared was planning to avoid filing for bankruptcy, as had been previously speculated. He said that LightSquared would take an aggressive approach to its finances to ensure that they would be adequate to support it through the regulatory issues.

Ahuja, a former Orange CEO, will remain chairman of the board at LightSquared and Falcone has been appointed as a board member. Chief network officer, Doug Smith, and CFO, Marc Montagner, will serve as interim co-CEOs until a permanent replacement is found.