Leap CFO Berger to depart for tech industry job

Cricket provider Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) said CFO Walter Berger will leave the company in the coming weeks to take a job at an unnamed firm in the technology sector. The company did not immediately name a replacement.

 Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) said CFO Walter Berger


Berger, who has served as Leap's CFO since 2008, will leave the flat-rate carrier shortly following the filing of Leap's annual report, which is expected to occur by Feb. 29. Leap spokesman Greg Lund told FierceWireless that Berger's new company will announce his arrival soon.

In a statement, Leap CEO Dough Hutcheson praised Berger's contributions to the carrier's growth over the past four years. "Walter has played an important role in the significant improvements to our operating and financial performance during his nearly four years of service," Hutcheson said. "He has also contributed to our growth and innovation initiatives including Muve Music and our national distribution expansion. Leap is well positioned for its next phase of growth, and we appreciate Walter's professionalism in working with us to ensure a smooth transition. We wish him well in his new endeavor."

Leap did not give a specific timeline for naming a new CFO. "Leap is carefully examining its options in regards to a replacement and will make an announcement about next steps at some point in the near future," Lund said. "Our goal is to find the right person to fill the role and we will be working to do this as quickly as we can."

The carrier will announce its fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 16 but has already reported net subscriber additions of 175,000 for the fourth quarter, up substantially from 10,000 in the third quarter but down from 300,000 in the year-ago quarter when it benefited from getting customers from Pocket Communications. Smartphones and Muve devices made up 60 percent of the company's total sales in December.

2012 will likely be a busy year for Leap. Earlier this month it announced it plans to launch session-based data services over its existing tiered data pricing structure, a move that likely will allow customers to purchase faster data speeds for short periods of time. The company said it will launch the service in the first half of the year. Leap is also expanding its LTE footprint and expects to cover a total of 25 million people with LTE by the end of 2012.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article

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