Lacavera out as CEO of Canada's Wind Mobile, stays chairman

Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:00pm EDT
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TORONTO Oct 27 (Reuters) - Founder Anthony Lacavera is stepping down as chief executive officer of fledgling Canadian wireless operator Wind Mobile, the company said on Monday, just weeks after he brokered new financing that made him one of Wind's largest shareholders.

He will be replaced as CEO by Chief Operating Officer Pietro Cordova. Lacavera said in an interview he will remain as chairman and plans to work on business planning and strategy as well as advocacy for Wind.

"I'm going to continue to be very much involved and while I might step back from the day-to-day, I'm going to continue to be involved in the detail," he said.

Cordova had been COO for two years, taking the job after Amsterdam-headquartered telecom Vimpelcom Ltd acquired Wind.

Lacavera's Globalive Capital, along with a consortium of backers, said in September it would buy out Vimpelcom's majority equity stake for C$135 million ($120 million).

"Wind 2.0 is on solid ground," Cordova said in a statement, calling it "a very exciting phase in the life of Wind."

The company had to sit out an auction of spectrum licences earlier this year when Vimpelcom pulled its backing. Months later Vimpelcom wrote off the entire value of its investment in Wind.

Wind was launched in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia after paying C$442 million for airwaves set aside for new entrants in a 2008 government auction. Lacavera said it now has around 780,000 subscribers.

It lags far behind Canada's three big players, Telus Corp , BCE Inc's Bell, and Rogers Communications Inc , which each have at least 10 times more subscribers.

($1=$1.12 Canadian) (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway)