Clearwire Hires Morrow

March 11th, 2009 by · 3 Comments

WiMax protagonist clwr hired a new CEO yesterday:  William Morrow who was CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric.  Despite his recent home in the energy sector, he has pedigree in the wireless business with executive roles at Vodafone and Japan Telecom.  I wonder also if there isn’t an energy angle here, the energy utilities have towers and many have fiber – Morrow might be able to interface with them better given his background. He will replace Wolff as CEO, Wolf will become co-chairman.  The move may have surprised some, but the transition to a massive buildout requires different skills and I fully expected them to bring in talent to manage it.

Of course, some took the opportunity to write yet another hatchet job on the company, like this one from Forbes suggesting the company is ‘looking for a way out’.  Looking for a way out?  A way out of what?  They have a pile of cash and a network to build with it and haven’t shown any signs of planning anything else.  I get a kick out of how the media thinks that its own articles determine whether LTE or WiMAX is ‘winning’.  LTE doesn’t even exist yet in commercial form and won’t for a year, and it is supposedly winning because the incumbents have chosen it.  Don’t users get a choice in this?  Heck, I’ll choose when I see the products, and not before.  IMHO the indication of Clearwire’s success will not be its rollout speed, but the uptake in the markets it does roll out.  In other words, WiMax’s success will depend on how many people like it and pay for it, all else is just hot air.

Besides, having more than one wireless standard is common enough right now, I cannot fathom the Highlander attitude nowadays: ‘There can be only one’.  By the time the WiMax/LTE competition is actually a competition rather than a media blitz, we will already be hearing about the next generation which leaves them both in the dust.

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