Erik Prusch has quite a job on his hands. Clearwire’s chief operating officer is now the man in charge of the struggling wireless carrier as it fights for survival amid a fundamental shift in its business strategy.
When Bill Morrow stepped down as CEO earlier this year Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) chairman John Stanton took the reins, but Stanton was always labeled as an interim CEO. Prusch, who was Clearwire’s chief financial officer prior to March when he assumed the COO role following Morrow’s departure, has been with Clearwire since 2009 and is the former CEO of Borland Software.
It’s now his responsibility to figure out a path for Clearwire, which has never quite managed to get off the ground as a much-hyped provider of WiMax wireless data. WiMax has not caught on with either the public or the mobile industry, and despite growing numbers of subscribers Clearwire is operating at a substantial loss. It recently announced that it would deploy LTE technology–the preferred standard for almost all modern wireless carriers–but its stock has gotten hammered amid the turmoil of the last week on questions whether or not it can raise financing in order to build such a network.
Clearwire’s stock rose slightly on news of Prusch’s appointment, although on yet another day of broad stock-market losses that’s actually a decent accomplishment. Stanton will remain with Clearwire as executive chairman.