Clearwire names CEO and asks him to raise $900M

Erik Prusch

Clearwire, (s clwr) which abruptly lost its CEO earlier this year, has promoted Erik Prusch, the wireless company’s COO, to the top spot on Wednesday. Prusch replaces interim CEO John Stanton, who will assume the role of executive chairman of the board. The move was necessary, as Clearwire has announced plans to transition its network to a new business model and a new network technology, which will require it to raise almost $600 million.

So now Prusch, who was the company’s CFO before moving to COO, is in charge of knocking on doors and finding ways to raise the money needed for the network transformation as well as the debt payments coming due on Clearwire’s original network build. The company said last week it needs $900 million in total funding. Prusch’s financial expertise and familiarity with bankers (he helped raise the $6 billion that funded Clearwire) should come in handy.

Bill Morrow, Clearwire’s former CEO, had resigned in March as part of a management shakeup that had led to Prusch moving from the CFO role to COO. Now it looks like he’s moving up in the world as Clearwire prepares to shift from WiMAX to the 4G Long Term Evolution network technology, and build out a wholesale wireless network.