Expect The Unexpected From Mobilicity: CEO Dave Dobbin Resigns

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 21, 2011

Despite covering Mobilicity at length on thetelecomblog for over last two years, I’ve never been sure of what to expect from them. It’s been an up and down year for Canada’s most aggressive discount carrier. Back in May, Mobilicity celebrated its first anniversary; a year highlighted by five market launches including Calgary, $215 million of new financing, over 700 retail locations and thousands of Canadians who choose the new carrier daily to bring down their cost of wireless without sacrificing a quality mobile experience.

The anniversary celebrations were short-lived as the carrier soon let go VP sales Doug Perry, VP marketing Sara Moore and VP network operations Sharyn Gravelle. And now when you’d expect the carrier to be busy preparing for the holiday season rush, comes another shocker – chief executive officer Dave Dobbin is leaving the firm to “pursue other interests”.

Old habits die hard and unfortunately Mobilicity seems to be making a habit of shaking up its top management every now and then.

Dobbin’s ouster means Mobilicity has appointed Steward Lyons as President. In his new role, Lyons will take over from where Dubbin left and oversee the carrier’s transitions from launch to growth phase. Chairman John Bitove now assumes an executive chairman position, where he will take a more direct management role.

“Lyons, who was a founding member of Mobilicity’s management team, has played a significant role in driving Mobilicity’s strategy, customer service orientation and fundraising efforts. Lyons will continue to work closely with the executive management team and John Bitove, who is assuming the role of Executive Chairman, to drive the company forward,” said an official press release from Mobilicity.

Interestingly, the Mobilicity website still lists Dave Dobbin as CEO.

Though Mobilicity’s subscriber base still hovers around the 250,000 user mark, it’s entry into the Canadian wireless market has proven to be a blessing in disguise. Time and again, Mobilicity has played the low-price card with reasonable success. Back in July, the carrier slashed its U. S. data roaming rates by 70 percent causing a ripple effect as Telus lowered its roaming charges and Rogers offered what it considers to be “options to help customers manage their roaming fees.”

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, Mobilicity represents a classical case study of how an effective retail distribution strategy can work wonders in the wireless segment. Last year, it signed up a deal with 7-Eleven convenient stores to sell its phones at select locations in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. In August, Mobilicity stepped up the ante by announcing a distribution agreement with Walmart Canada which would see the firm`s wireless phones and airtime bundles sold in approximately 50 Walmart stores across Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

In fact, Mobilicity’s management shakeup stance has rubbed off on other new wireless entrants as well. In late June, Wind Mobile’s startup CEO Ken Campbell left the company. Several analysts believe that the departure of CEOs of these firms signifies that things were “not going as planned”.

Whatever the reasons for Dave Dobbin’s departure, I, for one, sincerely hope that Mobilicity overcomes this turbulent situation quickly. After all, the Canadian wireless market needs new entrants such as Mobilicity & Wind Mobile to do well to maintain the true spirit of ‘competition’.

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: