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Clearwire Hires Fresh Face to Sell Wireless to the Wired

Teresa_ElderClearwire today said it’s hired Teresa Elder to be the new president of strategic partnerships and wholesale, which will see her market the WiMAX company’s services to its cable partners and consumer device makers, and that Chief Strategy Officer Scott Richardson will leave Clearwire, but remain available as a strategic adviser. Elder’s appointment, while not a direct replacement of Richardson, a former Intel engineer who helped shepherd the WiMAX standard through certification, is part of the WiMAX provider’s attempts to mature. 

Elder’s previous experience as CEO of Vodafone (s vod) Ireland and president of a division of AT&T (s t) Broadband (now part of Comcast (s cmcsa)) should help Clearwire make good on its plans to offer 4G service through a variety of channels. And her experience operating a wired ISP should endear her to Clearwire’s cable partners. Elder will report to Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert and serve as a member of CEO William Morrow’s executive committee.

Clearwire has also said it hopes to get its 4G wireless embedded into consumer devices, a strategy being aggressively pursued by cellular carriers looking to expand their business in an increasingly saturated market — and to cater to connected consumers, who are more inclined to demand and view wireless access as a killer application for everything from e-readers to personal navigation devices. Clearwire also said it’s brought in Erik Prusch as chief financial officer, replacing David Sach, who “will leave the company to pursue new opportunities.”

Clearwire isn’t the only communications firm shuffling its executive deck today. Qwest (s Q), the nation’s third-largest telecom, has promoted Teresa Taylor to chief operating officer. She replaces Thomas Richards, who’s held that position since July 2008 and is leaving to become president and chief operating officer of CDW Corp. So it looks like it could be a tale of two Teresas, with one pushing wireless and the other, wired broadband.

Image courtesy of Clearwire.

2 Responses to “Clearwire Hires Fresh Face to Sell Wireless to the Wired”

  1. Hopefully the new Clearwire PR-person (okay, she’s a bit more than that but you get the idea) will reassure cable providers that Clearwire couldn’t possibly harm cableco’s internet revenues since after all wireless is a spectrum-limited technology…

    …thus allowing Clear to use cable backhauls, partner with cable companies for quadruple-play solutions (TV + internet + mobile internet + voice), get a large device base so I can easily get a mobile device that’ll take advantage of WiMAX speeds wherever they’re available and extend coverage to places that don’t have cable, or have crappy cable service (I’m looking at you, Suddenlink).

    With LTE coming out, Clear is going to have a touch battle, however they seem to have a lot going for them; between Clear’s cableco partners there’s a lot of fiber and a lot of wireline internet customers. Though on the other hand AT&T and Verizon each dwarf all the cablecos combined in terms of subscriber counts when it comes to flat-out customers, since you can then bring cell phone buyers into the equation.