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Wireless Company’s CFO Takes a Leap

Leap Wireless International ends its week by revealing it received the resignation of its finance chief and a $5.5 billion takeover offer within da...
Stephen TaubSeptember 7, 2007

Amin Khalifa has resigned as CFO of Leap Wireless International, which is in the middle of deciding how to deal with an unsolicited takeover proposal. The wireless communications company said Khalifa, its CFO for just over a year, has resigned to pursue other interests.

He is leaving the San Diego–based company without having to deal with its future uncertainty. In the same announcement on Friday, the company said its board of directors is reviewing the hostile offer received on September 4 from MetroPCS Communications Inc. MetroPCS, which also provides wireless services, wants to acquire all of Leap for $5.5 billion in an all-stock deal, plus about $2 billion in existing Leap debt.

Khalifa’s resignation and the takeover announcement “are two independent events” and are unrelated, according to Leap spokesman Greg Lund.

While the company searches for Khalifa’s replacement, CEO and president Doug Hutcheson will take his place on an interim basis. Hutcheson is no stranger to the finance chief role: he held that position at Leap for two and a half years until he was named chief executive in February 2005. “I want to thank Amin for his contributions,” said Hutcheson. “We believe the company has made good progress in the last year and is positioned for continued success.”

Khalifa, who also held the title of executive vice president, joined Leap last summer from the health-care industry, where he had been CFO at Apria Healthcare Group and Aetna Health Plans. He has also served as CFO of laboratory-equipment manufacturer Beckman Coulter and the agricultural sector of Monsanto, a life-sciences company.

Khalifa’s resignation from Leap was effective September 6. He will receive a severance payment of $590,625, but has forfeited his rights to stock options and other stock awards.