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Customers clobber Clearwire as execs jump ship

CEO cites personal reasons, others seek new opps

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American “4G*” wireless carrier Clearwire has been hit with a customer class action over speeds that don’t meet its marketing, and over the weekend, found three new empty offices in the “C-suite” with the departure of its CEO Bill Morrow. Chief commercial officer Mike Sievert, and CIO Kevin Hart, also announced their resignations.

Chairman John Stanton was named as interim CEO, and among other things will have to swing the damage control machinery into action in the face of the customer lawsuit.

On Thursday (US time), DSL Reports said the customer complaint is over sudden throttling of broadband speeds down as far as 256 Kbps without explaining what usage triggers the slow-down.

In a new wrinkle on the customers-sue-supplier scenario, part of the complaint is that by selling new accounts in the hope of paying for new network infrastructure, Clearwire allegedly ran an operation akin to a Ponzi scheme.

America isn’t the only country in which customers have found the mobile broadband experience was less than they expected. Australian customers of Vodafone have also called in the silks over poor performance.

*Whether any service today warrants the label “4G” depends on whether marketing labels carry more weight than international standards. ®

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