Charter hires former Sprint executive Danny Bowman to head mobile business

Cable company Charter has hired Danny Bowman as its new chief mobile officer, and he has been tasked with launching Charter’s forthcoming MVNO, Spectrum Mobile, this year.

Bowman will report to Rich DiGeronimo, Charter’s EVP of product and strategy, at the company‘s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

"As the chief mobile officer for the company, Danny and his team will run the mobile business and forge strong partnerships with key suppliers and leverage Charter's superior network assets to deliver a transformative integrated mobile, wireless connectivity and entertainment experience,” DiGeronimo said in a statement from Charter.

Most recently, Bowman worked as chief revenue officer of LeEco North America, a company that in 2016 made a splashy U.S. debut promising smartphones, smart TVs and a streaming service in the U.S. by the end of the year, but in the intervening years has largely collapsed due to a lack of financing.

Before LeEco, Bowman was chief sales and operations officer for Samsung Telecommunications of America, and before that Bowman spent 17 years at Sprint and Nextel, where he served as president and vice president across several business units. Indeed, Bowman was at Sprint during that carrier’s ill-fated, Pivot-branded joint venture with cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications. Pivot was an effort by that group of cable companies to add Sprint-powered wireless service to their range of offerings, but it fell apart in 2008.

Now, though, Bowman will be called upon to launch a similar offering at Charter, which likely will be dubbed Spectrum Mobile. Charter activated its own MVNO with Verizon in 2016 and has said it will launch the offering commercially in June or July of this year.

Charter will join Comcast on the mobile front; Comcast activated its MVNO agreement with Verizon in 2015 and commercially launched its Xfinity Mobile service in the summer of 2017. Greg Butz is in charge of Comcast’s mobile efforts.

Comcast in its most recent quarter said it added 250,000 wireless subscribers over the first four months of its MVNO launch (and 187,000 net line additions in the fourth quarter), and investors believe the cable giant is on track to add more than 1 million wireless subscribers for the full-year 2018.

Meanwhile, Altice also plans to join the ranks of cable companies offering wireless service, but the company said it won’t launch its Sprint-powered mobile offering until next year.

Bowman will join Charter’s Craig Cowden, the cable company’s SVP of wireless technology, and Manish Jindal, Charter’s group VP of wireless research and development, in working on Charter’s wireless operations. Cowden and Jindal have been looking at how Charter might build its own wireless network with spectrum including the 3.5 GHz CBRS band.