LightSquared has appointed Doug Smith as its new permanent CEO and Chairman of the Board. Prior to this, Smith acted as co-COO for the troubled company, after serving as chief network officer and handling LightSquared's network design, deployment, and operations. Earlier this year, former CEO Philip Falcone stepped down from his position just before the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
LightSquared had grandiose plans to deploy a terrestrial 4G LTE network on spectrum that was formerly allocation for satellite services. Unfortunately, it ran into significant opposition from the GPS industry, which claimed that LightSquared's proposed network would interfere with existing GPS devices. As a result, LightSquared was never able to get approval from the FCC for its planned network, and eventually the money ran out.
But LightSquared isn't fully out of commission just yet, and Smith plans to work out its various financial and regulatory issues. The new CEO says that the company "remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year," and that it "can provide the American public with both a protected and robust GPS system while enabling LightSquared to offer consumers and businesses more choice and a lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve."
Whether Smith will be able to right the ship and make the company a successful venture remains to be seen, but we will definitely be watching as the events unfold.