WiMax Leader Clearwire Names New CEO

Former Pacific Gas & Electric and Vodafone executive William T. Morrow will take over as Clearwire CEO while current Clearwire CEO Benjamin G. Wolff will serve as co-chairman of the WiMax company along with founder Craig McCaw. Morrow assumes the new post as Clearwire plans an aggressive rollout of its WiMax 4G networks against Verizon Wireless' LTE 4G technology.

With the markers already down in the 4G battle between Clearwire and Sprint Nextel's WiMax and Verizon Wireless' LTE, Clearwire March 9 named former Vodafone and Pacific Gas & Electric executive William T. Morrow as CEO. Morrow replaces current CEO Benjamin G. Wolff, who will become co-chairman of Clearwire, sharing the duties with current chairman Craog O. McCaw.
"The chance to lead Clearwire at a time when the company sits on the cusp of doing something truly remarkable -- to change the way people connect to and use the Internet -- was not one to be missed," Morrow said in a statement. "Clearwire's business model and unique assets have us well positioned to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services."
Clearwire is racing to establish the first nationwide 4G network, betting the farm on WiMax technology. Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the nation's two largest wireless carriers, are counting on LTE for their 4G technology. With WiMax networks already established in Baltimore and Portland, Ore., Clearwire Clearwire said March 5 it plans to roll out 4G WiMax networks in eight metropolitan areas in 2009 and add at least another four markets in 2010.
The company hopes to cover up to 120 million people in appoximately 80 markets by 2010. WiMax rollouts for 2009 include Atlanta; Las Vegas; Chicago; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas/Fort Worth; Honolulu; Philadelphia; and Seattle. Cities on the 2010 buildout board include New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco.
Verizon Wireless said Feb. 18 it will be testing LTE in U.S. cities in 2009, followed by an aggressive rollout in 2010. Nokia, the world's largest cell phone maker, has already committed to a major LTE pushed and March 5 referred to WiMax as a niche play.
"Bill Morrow has developed a global reputation in the telecommunications industry as a highly regarded executive with an extraordinary track record of success in U.S., Europe and Japan," MCaw said in a statement. "Years of experience in key positions with great companies such as AirTouch and Vodafone have given Bill a great perspective on achieving operating efficiencies and enhancing value creation to profitably build and scale businesses."
Morrow comes to Clearwire from Pacific Gas & Electric, where he served as president and CEO. Prior to PG&E, Morrow worked at Vodafone in a number of senior executive positions, including CEO of of Vodafone, Europe and president of Vodafone KK in Japan. He also served as President of Japan Telecom Co. and held senior executive positions with wireless telecommunications carrier AirTouch International.