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WIND Mobile CEO to step down, sells shares to Orascom Telecom


WIND Mobile launched their service back in December of 2009 and was build by serial entrepreneur Anthony Lacavera. The new carrier was quick to sign up subscribers – now sitting above 500,000 – by offering up unlimited low-cost talk, text and data plans. Over the years they’ve been hammered by lawsuits and foreign ownership acusiations from all carriers, specifically TELUS, Rogers and Public Mobile.

News broke today that changes are on the horizon for WIND Mobile. In a press release it was revealed that Tony Lacavera, WIND’s founder, Chairman and CEO, will step down and “enter into an agreement to transfer” his stake (legally named AAL Corporation) to Orascom Telecom, which is owned by VimpelCom. The release also noted that Lacavera will stay on board until the deal is officially closed, then “Orascom will own an indirect 99.3% interest in Globalive Wireless Management Corp.”

Lacavera stated that “As an entrepreneur, my vision was to ignite change across the wireless landscape in Canada, bringing more competition, better prices and superior service to Canadians. And that is exactly what we did. Now that I am confident WIND Mobile Canada is on a course for long-term success, I can focus on launching Globalive Capital to make targeted investments in companies that share my entrepreneurial vision and continue to support innovation through new and emerging entrepreneurs.”

The fine details of the transaction were not disclosed, but you can bet this will need to be approved by all the necessary regulatory boards.

Source: CNW

  • me2

    I gurantee his personal cell phone won’t be on wind.

  • max logan

    This was always the plan…no one cares about the customers…its all about money…and he just made a lot of it…

  • Bob

    Looks like Tony made a good buck. All the best to him. Hope this doesn’t change Wind’s directions for the worst.

    • Youcanthandlethetruth

      As much as I wanted WIND to succeed in changing our wireless market, I must say Tony Lacavera is one sorry a*s entrepreneur. About time Orascom got rid of him. He says he brought superior service to Canadians? Riiiight…. I had Wind for a few months and had to switch back because the coverage was so bad. This is one cocky kid who thinks he’s God’s gift to Canadian business. I don’t see this as a success story by any means.

      Now let’s wait and watch ROBELLUS go for Wind’s jugular as they will be 99% foreign owned. I hope I’m wrong! I’d love to see Orascom come in and slap ROBELLUS around for a change. Naguib Sawiris, please, do us a favour and put someone with real business sense and COJONES leading Wind Canada.

  • hoo dat

    Can’t say I’m not surprised. They needed to have gained an extra 90,000 subs by the end of the last quarter to reach their 600,000 target. As their best quarter to date was 45,000 it’s highly unlikely they’ll get there. This after re-adjusting their target downwards 3 times previously from a high of 1,500,000. He failed to hit his own constantly lowered targets, that just proves his worth as a business man.

    • Not True

      Their most successful quarter ever was Q4 2010, with 92 960 net new additions.

    • xyz

      They said they have 600.000 customers now.

    • hoo dat

      600,000? Says who? WIND? It might well be true but I’ll believe it when I see it officially. Still, it’s no-where near the 1,500,000 original target. And please, the court cases are an excuse, a red herring. Since the court cases were resolved WIND has gone live in Niagara, Peterborough, Kingston, Barrie, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, London, Windsor, etc, etc. More than enough additional coverage to cover off any shortfall. You don’t have to look far to see where WIND went wrong and are continuing to get it wrong. Just look at the prepaid churn.

  • Surveillance

    Everything is always about the money. And it’s the customers who bring you the money. So naturally any good CEO will always care about the customers.

  • Tharan

    Regardless of what carrier you’re on, Anthony Lacavera played a huge role in changing the mobile landscape…kudos to him!

    • Matt

      What huge changes have we seen? The big three still have the lion’s share of the business while WIND and the others have but a tiny fraction.

  • Hub

    It must be working well for him to leave the ship. I still believe that their strategy was wrong headed. They should have crossed deals with Mobilicty and Videotron to slice the market and have nation-wide roaming agreement with each other. Instead they went head to head with Mobilicity in the same market and let Videotron alone, without roaming agreement – since Videotron poached all the spectrum.

    What next? Orascom buying Mobilicity. Or Quebecor doing so.

  • nate

    WIND/Globalive will be 99% (indirectly) owned by Orascom (Vimpelcom). Will we finally see some sustained, deep-pocketed foreign competition to the Robellus trio?

  • Porilaisten

    There goes Tony! The warrior against ROBELLUS and the savior of Canadian consumers!

    What a crock of S#IT

  • Miknitro

    Do you smell smoke wafting from the decks below?

  • David

    Is it good or is it bad ?

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    RIM @ $15.79.

  • Herry69

    whaddaya know, ANOTHER canadian company is now owned by a foreigner. goes to show that harper STILL has his head up his a– !!!!!

    • hoo dat

      It’s been foreign owned since day one, in everyway but name.

  • george

    I bet you they will sale Wind Canada within weeks…

  • JC Gin

    Tony must have realized that he is “standing on a burning platform” and therefore decided to “plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters” instead of “consumed by the burning flames”.

    (Borrowed from Stephen Elop)

  • JOHN

    Next thing you may see is china telcom buy out mobilicity.

  • Al

    According to this part of the news

    Orascom Telecom is a leading international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in high growth markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, having a total population under license of approximately 449 million with an average mobile telephony penetration of approximately 56% as of September 30th, 2012. Orascom Telecom operates GSM networks in Algeria (“OTA”), Pakistan (“Mobilink”) and Bangladesh (“banglalink”) and has an indirect equity shareholding in Globalive Wireless Canada (“Wind Mobile”). In addition it has an indirect equity ownership in Telecel Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) and through its subsidiary Telecel Globe, OTH also operates in Burundi and the Central African Republic. Orascom Telecom reached over 85 million subscribers as of September 30th, 2012.

    - So does this mean the news that rogers gave for doing global data roaming a couple of days ago means nothing because now there is a HUGE potential that WIND customers will definitely have better roaming world wide? :)

    • placator

      Well….not sure abount you Al, but I’m not planning to visit Bangladesh, Algeria or Zimbabwe any time soon…..

    • xyz

      And Orascom is owned by Vimpelcom – even bigger company.

    • George K

      Not really. I was in Greece over the summer (where Wind is one of the major cell providers) and my status as a Wind customer didn’t benefit me at all.

  • Britney C

    Who cares about the ownership pie charts. I want competition. The big 3 still own the game. They always will. All I care about is paying less.

  • Darren

    Look what happened to YAK, not much left. Maybe we will finally have a company that concentrates on building its business and its customers base instead of tearing it apart.

    • OgtheDim

      Well, to be fair, cheap long distance phone rate companies all died off.

      Between mobiles offering deals and the cheapo cards, there was no more market.

  • terroristjoe

    Score one for the terrorists… that’s what happens when you have harper running the government.

    • Youcanthandlethetruth

      No terroristjoe, that’s what happens when lefty _idiots_ like you get access to internet. We end up reading your retarded comments.

  • theone

    Ummm terroristjoe your not that bright are you?

    the mother company is a russian company lol sooo ya i dont think the terrorist win lol good try

    Orascom owned by Vimpelcom lol so if ur doing to s sarcastic prick get ur information right

    on the side note

    this is a good thing for every one that wants competition they will inject more funds into wind and able them to compete better and maybe just maybe merger with Mobilicity

  • real deal

    I agree you brought more competition in Canada but you made your cash you’re out peace of sh…T.

  • nathan

    Congrats on your success, good luck with your future business investments.

  • big t i t s n hoo ker lips

    Wind was a failure. Didn’t hit target customer numbers, poor coverage across serviced areas, poor growth initiative etc. Guaranteed he was forced out for not meeting target revenue.

    All thanks to the big three. They win. Only in Canada would it’s people allow a company trying to change the landscape of telecommunication and lower rates to fail at both in favor of paying the ridiculously over priced big three.

    I’m ashamed to be Canadian.

  • JOHN

    TIME IS UP! SAVING IS OVER! CANADIAN CELLPHONE INDUSTRY WILL BE BACK TO SQ ONE AGAIN AFTER TONY IS GONE! AND LET WAIT AND SEE THE PRICE RAISE ON ALL WIND MOBILE PLAN WONT BE LONG ITS COMING UP!

  • Wind changed the pricing in Canada

    He changed the mobile industry in canada for sure , atleast as far as pricing is concerned.

    They only had 500,000 customers bcoz the Big 3 drastically reduced their prices ( still more expensive than Wind ) and the Canadian public were stupid enough to go with the Big 3 ‘s somewhat reduced prices instead of going with WIND.

    I don’t consider Wind’s success to be based on how many customer’s they got , but how they forced the Big 3 to considerably change their plans and prices.

    If it wasn’t for Wind the Big 3 ‘s current plans and prices would not be anywhere close to what they are today , they would be even more exhorbitant they are now.

  • Dave

    “As an entrepreneur, my vision was to ignite change across the wireless landscape in Canada, bringing more competition, better prices and superior service to Canadians. And that is exactly what we did.”

    Thank you Tony and Wind Mobile for pulling us out of this Stones Age and the World’s Most Corrupt Government.

  • Canadian

    You people fail to realize that because of foreign ownership laws canada was able to stay afloat during the recession look at all the other countries where Vimpelcom and Orascom operate, Or even where most companies are foreign owned. i.e U.S

  • insiderinfo

    Finished at 594,000 subs confirmed. So they essentially reached the target. Downvote if you wish, but you’ll see that number in orascoms report.

  • A_Person_of_Interest

    594,000 is still WELL short of 1.5Million that they had forecast back in 2009 to make their business case work.

  • Data Outage

    I have two wind lines and one Rogers line. I was sure glad I had Rogers when the data outage occurred a couple weeks ago. Anyway, let’s see what happens next. Wind offers good value to me for long distance north america calling, no data overages although their bandwidth is limited at best. They advertise H+ and its even slower than when I first got Wind 2 years ago. I hope they can consolidate all of the tiny AWS /CDMA startups, pool together some cash for LTE spectrum otherwise its game over and Wind will become Solo 2.

  • Jimmy

    Lol no R.I.P guy? Haha finally..

  • T1MB0T

    Umm how does the I told you so taste? Tony did nothing as far as the experts are concerned. Orascom ran it from day 1. sucks to be a loser tony.. no wind no yak.. and you now have no money.. lets not forget your failed movie and broadway play.. it is ok. nuke says you can move boxes with him at loblaws.

  • T1MB0T

    Sad day? How so now when a number is posted be it subs or a plan for expansion it wil not be corrected by his boss. BTW I heard he was gone for quite some time.. office has a new occupant.. 6 months now

  • Mike

    looks like Mobilicity is now Canadian Wireless industry’s last hope. Wind is dead.

  • winduser

    The real cause of this situation is our Government.

    First of all Big 3 are hoarding all good spectrum.
    They only gave AWS spectrum to new entrants, some 850 should have been released aswell.

    Even in Europe 2100 3g does not have good reception inside a lot of building and their networks are better than ours.

    Then from the beginning the Govt did not allow foreign ownership, so many obstacles put in the way, even with these latest auction rules.

    We will end up getting mega gouged just like we were,

    We will not see unlimited talk text data plans at reasonable prices like the UK now.

    Lebara mobile, unlimited Talk text and data within UK
    Unlimited talk and text to USA, Canada, India and few other countries for 29 pounds = $45 including tax.

    We will not see unlimited internet add ons for $ 8 on pay as u go like in the UK

    This govt does not want competition, they pretend they do.

    We are going to become a cellular backwater, just as we have become a internet backwater with ridiculous low unecessary bandwdith caps.

    Well done CRTC, well done Industry Canada for keeping us competitive in this increasingly competitive world and doing whats in the best intersts of Canada !

    • T1MB0T

      Your official Tony Jabroni poster will get you 5.00 off when ROGERS buys wind. looks like it is not that far fetched.. sorry tony you loser.

  • J-Ro

    Here in Canada, our problem is simple. We are trying to keep up with the Jones. We have a fraction of the population of all the countries everyone is naming but everyone wants similar if not better technology than those said countries.

    We will soon have similar pricing but its going to take a while. With unlimited mobile packages goes the way of tv subscribers and the way of the people that serve them.

    If we can manage to get fair prices and keep our economy the same i welcome it but until then we have to just be very careful with our cellular bills.

  • J.Soul

    Investors want stability, customers want fair prices. Stability comes from keeping the status quo, which Wind was never able to establish. They presumed everyone would jump ship to their low cost plans…but had no retention strategy. Now they have had to raise prices on everything to afford things like discounts on handsets…which causes more instability for investors, and pisses customers off.

    Wind bet on the wrong horse – because the majority wasn’t paying attention when they launched digitalsoapbox.com… The vast majority of Canadians WANT free equipment, regardless of contract length. They just act pissed when they can’t get another “free” one when the screen on their current “free” one breaks.

    I will never forget when Swaris came to Canada shortly after Wind launched – I heard him say to ex-CEO Ken Campbell and ex-CCO Chris Robbins, “why do you have employees working here?” He knew Wind could not afford their business model.

    Thank you Canadians – gov’t and otherwise, for proving to telco CEOs around the world that the contract system can work.

  • JHack

    A sad day for the mobile industry. I was a fan of Wind and everything they stood for ever since they first sponsored renown Italian football club A.S. ROMA of the Serie A.

    For Canadians, it was a breath of fresh air. Wind was the first telecom company to bring wireless freedom from the Big 3 (Bell, Rogers, Telus) and set the precedent of others to follow their successful business model. Namely Koodo, Mobilicity, and Pubic Mobile.

    For me Wind brought a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) because I resonated with Lacavera’s views and constantly checked the website other mobile forums and watched the Wind mobile coverage area expand like a growing child.

    My only regret is that Wind Mobile has never been able to service Quebec, and as a native Montrealer as much as I loved Wind Mobile and everything they stand for, I could never take advantage of them.

    I don’t think under the new direction Wind will be the same, it will transform into a corporate bureaucracy – and lose its personal edge. *sigh*

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