Former Verizon executive Marni Walden was one of three mobile experts to join a new advisory board for Alphabet’s Loon, as the business seeks to commercialise its technology and strike deals with new MNO partners.
Walden, who most recently served as Verizon’s EVP and president of Global Media and New Business, was tapped as a founding board member alongside Craig McCaw, former CEO of McCaw Cellular (sold to AT&T in 1994) and mobile broadband company Clearwire Corporation; and Ian Small, CEO of note-taking app Evernote and a former Telefonica executive.
In a blog post, Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said the new panel will provide “serious expertise” as the business transitions to a commercial model and aims to work with more MNOs.
“We quickly realised that as a business with the mission of connecting people everywhere, our path to success is to partner with those who have significant experience connecting people every day,” Westgarth wrote, adding: “with Loon’s technology, we see a valuable opportunity to help MNOs reach more people in areas that have been difficult or impossible to serve”.
The board’s creation comes several months after Loon, which provides internet connectivity using high-altitude balloons, graduated from a project in Alphabet’s research division to a fully-fledged subsidiary.