What’s up at Amp’d Mobile?

Is Amp’d Mobile gearing up for a change of the guard? Valleywag prints a rumor that the CEO and founder of the high-spending youth-oriented MVNO, Peter Adderton, has left the company. We heard this rumor a few weeks ago and asked Amp’d’s PR team directly if Adderton had left the company. At that time (May 8th) Amp’d spokespersons said the rumor was not true.

When I asked Amp’d’s PR team for an interview with Adderton then, an Amp’d spokesperson said: “That sounds great. Let me work on his sched and get back to you with a time.” Well, I haven’t heard back on that meeting yet, so we’ll see what happens, and the PR team didn’t respond to calls today. We’ll update the story when the PR team either gives a new statement, or confirms their former statement. Adderton is still listed on the website as CEO.

If Adderton is gone, it would be a big blow for the company, given he’s a high profile founder, and was successful with his former MVNO Boost Mobile. We’ve heard other rumors that in the company’s rush to add subscribers, the company has been less than stringent when signing up customers, leading to an unusually high subscriber turnover.

The company said it added 70,000 new customers in Q4 2006 and ended the year with over 100,000 customers, but also said in September that they were approaching the 50,000 customer mark. Does that mean the company lost 20,000 subscribers in the meantime? In April 2007, the company announced that in “the first quarter of 2007 has driven subscriber figures forward, now approaching the 200,000 mark.”

The company has raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars from the likes of MTV, Intel, Qualcomm, Redpoint, and Columbia Capital for building up a subscriber base. The MVNO model in the US has been a bit of a mixed bag: budget price MVNOs like Virgin have found success, though we are still a bit skeptical about their newly launched upmarket brethren.