Motricity Announces Exec Team; Loses COO Steve Elfman To Sprint

Tricia Duryee
Monday, March 24, 2008; 7:00 PM

After announcing that it will move its headquarters to Bellevue to be closer to key personnel, Motricity said today that president and COO Steve Elfman is leaving the company to work at beleaguered Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel as the president of network operations and wholesale business.

It will be interesting to see if Elfman's departure is a strain on Motricity. Following the acquisition of InfoSpace (NSDQ: INSP) Mobile, the company re-organized the business, announcing that it will lay off 250 employees from its North Carolina headquarters and move to Bellevue, Wash., to join InfoSpace's offices. Not including Motricity's CEO and chairman Ryan Wuerch, most of the remaining executives were from InfoSpace, and previously reported to Elfman. In a release, Wuerch said: "We certainly don't like losing him, but he leaves us in a very strong position. He's built a great foundation for the business and we have great momentum moving forward. Steve's entire leadership team remains intact and will continue to lead our business."

Elfman's move to Sprint is not a complete surprise. Elfman and Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse previously worked together at both Terabeam and AT&T (NYSE: T) Wireless. In Sprint's announcement, the company said Elfman, 52, will report directly to Hesse and will start in his new position on May 4. He will oversee the combined network and IT organizations led by Chief Network Officer Kathy Walker, and the wholesale MVNO organization. The wholesale business is led by Jim Patterson, who was recently named as president. In addition, Elfman will also oversee the company's technology development and product development organizations.

Today, Motricity also announced a complete list of its management team and released financial expectations. The company said it plans to exceed $100 million in net revenue, and is doing everything right to support "long-term, profitable growth."

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