Friday, December 31, 2010

Craig McCaw to Resign as Clearwire Chairman -

Craig McCaw is leaving the board of Clearwire Corp., resigning his position as chairman of the company he founded. It isn't clear what significance the move might have.

McCaw has not be active at the company for some time, it appears. McCaw's Eagle River Holdings LLC still holds a four-percent stake in the company. But that is no longer very significant. Google owns about three percent. Clearwire owns about 14 percent.

Intel owns about 11 percent. Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Brighthouse own ab out 15 percent between them.

Sprint holding 57 percent ownership, though the terms of its ownership agreement deny it control.

Clearwire's national network plan remains less than fully funded, and the company has enough cash to get it through the year, but obviously additional capital will have to be raised. Some continue to believe that Sprint will ultimately wind up owning the whole company. Most probably have believed all along Clearwire would ultimately be sold, one way or the other.

Whether McCaw's departure means anything special is impossible to determine, at this point. But all three Sprint executives resigned their seats earlier in 2010, a move that most observers thought was an indication of change.

Most executives in the wireless business would agree that one fewer national providers of 4G service would not be a bad thing, given the wireless market's maturation, as well as the existence of no less than five national 4G or 4G-speed networks.

Just about any way one looks at it, the Clearwire-Sprint relationship is complicated and unstable.

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