On the outs: Virgin Mobile USA sees another departure

Virgin Mobile USA's head of mobile advertising will be leaving the wireless carrier to join AOL's Platform-A ad division, making it the second departure from the company in as many weeks.

Scott Kelliher joined the company in 2006 and his exit comes on the heels of the departure of Virgin Mobile USA's CFO John Feehan, who announced in mid-September that he would be leaving the carrier to become CFO of the private data protection company Lifelock. Kelliher was instrumental in developing Virgin's Sugar Mama ad campaign, which gave users free airtime for agreeing to view mobile ads.

The MVNO, which completed the acquisition of rival Helio in late August, has struggled since its stock went public a year ago. It opened at $15 per share and has since tumbled to around $3. The company has promised improved growth for the second half of 2008 and into 2009.

A Virgin Mobile USA spokeswoman said that "people come and go in a dynamic company, that Virgin Mobile has many, many people who have been here since launch," and that there is no connection between Kelliher's departure and Feehan's. She also said, regarding Feehan's decision to leave the carrier, "that after seven years, this opportunity comes at a time when our balance sheet is the strongest it's been, given the Helio acquisition and ancillary benefits, and that he relishes moving to another pre-IPO experience."

[Story updated Thursday, October 2]

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