Rodgers replaces Jai Bhagat as Air2Lan CEO

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 25 August 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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CALIF: Air2Lan Inc., a provider of wireless broadband Internet access, named a new chief executive as it gears up for more product offerings and market penetration.

The new CEO, Mark E. Rodgers, has been involved with the company for about four years. He has been a member of Air2Lan's advisory board since the company was founded in 2000 and was appointed executive vice president earlier this year.

Prior to his executive post with Ari2Lan, he had worked with SmartSynch Inc., a Jackson energy metering technology firm, from December 1999 to this May.

His predecessor as Air2Lan's CEO, Jai P. Bhagat, will keep the chairman post at the company.

"He'll be a very active chairman," according to Rodgers, who said "there's a lot of value in the team" consisting of himself and Bhagat.

The two worked together for about 15 years at Skytel Communications Inc., a paging company. Bhagat was cofounder and served as vice chairman and CEO there, while Rodgers was vice president of fixed wireless.

Skytel was sold to MCI Worldcom in 1999, and both men left in fall of that year.

In addition to some wired Internet services, Air2Lan supplies wireless broadband Internet access to corporate offices. Rodgers said the company will push into the residential market.

Air2Lan is looking to compete with – and unseat - incumbent cable and telephone companies with its technology. The approach follows the trend in the U.S. telecommunications market of cable, DSL, telephone and other businesses marketing services outside their traditional portfolios.

In other news, Air2Lan is beginning to raise a Series D round of financing, VentureWire was told.

One purpose of the upcoming round at the Jackson, Miss., company is to turn a profit in "every one of" the 14 markets in the Southeastern U.S. that it sells in, Rodgers said. Those include Houston, Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans.

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