Boingo Wireless is getting a former Qualcomm executive to lead its business into the next chapter. Mike Finley will replace CEO Dave Hagan, who is retiring after 17 years with the company.
The company announced late Thursday that the board of directors unanimously elected Finley as CEO. He will continue as a member of the board, where he has served since August 2013.
Hagan also will continue to serve as a member of the board, while Lance Rosenzweig, Boingo’s lead independent director, will become chairman. These changes will go into effect on March 18.
Finley previously spent nearly nine years at Qualcomm, most recently as president of North America and Australia. His responsibilities while at Qualcomm included a range of areas: all carrier and new business development; OEM sales for mobile, computing, auto, connectivity, IOT, voice and music; product marketing; marketing and public relations; engineering services; and operations.
“After working with Mike for five years, the board and I are delighted that he will lead Boingo as we build wireless infrastructure in the 5G era,” Hagan said in a press release. “Mike’s deep industry knowledge and his carrier experience have been instrumental in helping Boingo navigate the wireless landscape over the last five years. His wireless background coupled with the institutional knowledge he’s gleaned as a member of the board make Mike uniquely qualified to lead Boingo successfully into the 5G future.”
For his part, Finley said he’s excited to be joining Boingo at this moment in time. “With its portfolio of high-volume indoor venues, Boingo is exceptionally well positioned to take advantage of the need for greater densification and indoor coverage that 5G requires,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to helping the Boingo team accelerate growth even further as 5G comes to market, and I thank Dave for his extraordinary leadership for the past 17 years.”
Indeed, Hagan spent a considerable amount of his career at Boingo and gets credit for a number of contributions. The board called out his involvement in taking the company public in 2011 and in helping grow Boingo from a start-up to a leading Wi-Fi and indoor DAS provider.
RELATED: AT&T expands Wi-Fi roaming deal with Boingo
Just last week, AT&T announced it was expanding its roaming agreement with Boingo Wireless to include more than 80 venues, including major airports, military bases and other places that have Boingo’s Passpoint-certified networks.
The announcement was a long time coming for Boingo, whose CEO was asked routinely during earnings calls about the status of the Wi-Fi offload agreement with “Carrier No. 2.” Boingo also has an agreement with Sprint.
While the company is expanding its presence with AT&T, it’s also chasing after new business opportunities in the multifamily dwelling space after acquiring Elauwit Networks last year. Hagan told FierceWirelessTech last week that he sees a lot of growth opportunity in that arena.
In doing its research a couple years ago, Boingo talked with property managers who were not too happy with their current solution for broadband providers, which usually means a cable company or satellite provider. Similar to what it does on military bases, Boingo can offer a service to get people online immediately—for example, a student moving into a dorm room or a millennial into an apartment.
“We’re really liking the progress” in talks with developers and apartment owners across the country, Hagan said.