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Mobilicity chairman John Bitove, left, is shown with Dave Dobbin, who is leaving his post as chief executive officer of the wireless company. (Richard Lam/The Canadian Press/Richard Lam/The Canadian Press)
Mobilicity chairman John Bitove, left, is shown with Dave Dobbin, who is leaving his post as chief executive officer of the wireless company. (Richard Lam/The Canadian Press/Richard Lam/The Canadian Press)

Mobilicity CEO steps down Add to ...

The chief executive officer of upstart wireless provider Mobilicity is leaving the firm to “pursue other interests,” the company said in a release late Friday.

Dave Dobbin, who led the company as it established a presence in major cities across Canada, is being replaced by Stewart Lyons, a senior member of Mobilicity's management team, who becomes president.

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Mobilicity chairman John Bitove, a Canadian businessman who has started several ventures, is moving into an executive chairman position, where he will take a more direct management role.

Mobilicity launched cellphone service last year with a roster of smartphones, including Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry, and much cheaper talk-and-text and data plans than those offered by the large, national wireless giants such as BCE Inc. and Telus Corp.

Along with fellow new wireless competitors Wind Mobile and Public Mobile, Mobilicity has forced the larger providers to lower their prices, provide bigger handset subsidies or increase the minutes and features offered in monthly rate plans.

In an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Bitove described Mr. Dobbin as a “very solid network guy” given his background in Toronto Telecom, Ottawa Telecom and Ontario Hydro, but said that he didn’t have a “consumer background.” He has done a great job building the network on time and budget, he added.

“We believe no wireless company in Canada has created the customer brand and experience in wireless yet that Canadians want,” Mr. Bitove said. “That’s our single goal now for Mobilicity. So in the next phase of our growth, we have to expand the team with the resources to achieve that one goal in mind.”

In late June, Wind Mobile’s startup CEO Ken Campbell left the company for other opportunities and its chairman, Anthony Lacavera, moved into the CEO role.

One Bay Street analyst who follows the sector, who declined to be named, said that two such CEO changes in the past six months could mean that things were “not going as planned” for new entrant wireless competitors.

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