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FLO TV Gets New Leader

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 8:18am
Monica Alleven

Former Handango CEO Bill Stone is now the new president of FLO TV, Qualcomm’s mobile TV network.

Bill Stone

Stone replaces Gina Lombardi, who led the FLO TV division for the past three years. Her future role at Qualcomm is unclear. A spokeswoman said Lombardi is evaluating her internal opportunities and she couldn’t comment beyond that. A press release announcing the new leadership quoted Qualcomm COO Len Lauer as saying the company looks forward to Lombardi’s “continued contributions” at Qualcomm.

Lombardi was instrumental in launching the FLO TV commercial network, getting content deals in place and deploying services with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Stone’s charge will be to build the FLO TV brand, expand content and distribution and boost subscribers.

Asked about current subscriber numbers, the Qualcomm spokeswoman said those figures are not Qualcomm’s to disclose. Industry observers speculate the service doesn’t have a substantial number of subscribers; otherwise, service providers would be crowing about them.

Stone, who wasn’t available for an interview, has a long history in the wireless industry, including stints at GTE Wireless, AirTouch Cellular, Vodafone and Verizon. He also was president of content-geared MVNO Amp’d Mobile, which went out of business in 2007. Later that year, he landed at mobile content provider Handango, where he’s credited for having increased channel revenues and expanded distribution to new channels like Best Buy, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and The Carphone Warehouse.

Stone officially joins Qualcomm on Feb. 2.

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