Helio - that MVNO birthed by SK Telecom and Earthlink some three years ago now - announced that Sky Dayton has moved from his post as CEO to become non-executive chairman of the board. President and COO Wohnee Sull will become the new CEO of Helio; Sull was formerly an executive at SK Telecom.
According to Helio's press release, Dayton's M.O. is to run a company for a few years and then step aside from day-to-day operations, so this shift at the company's upper level should not be taken a sign of any major changes. However, SK Telecom recently sunk a wad of cash into the MVNO and became Helio's majority shareholder, and Sull's installation at Helio's helm really seems to be a sign that SK is taking over.
Helio has made a name for itself with innovative handsets and Web-based services, including the Ocean smartphone, which has been one of my Top 5 phones since its release early last year. The MVNO also claims an average revenue per user (ARPU) some 70% higher than the industry average, according to their most recent statistics.
However, customer service issues have plagued Helio since day one and are well-documented across the Web. My own account of dealing with Helio's *terrible* customer service department back in July of last year is still inspiring "DO NOT BUY HELIO!!!" rants in the comments section (see link below). Here's hoping that new CEO Sull can right what's wrong with the company while still encouraging the spirit of innovation that led to Ocean and Helio's innovative Web and messaging packages.
Meantime, where's the Ocean successor? CTIA in Vegas this April would be a great time for Helio to drop their new flagship handset on us, don'tcha think?
Read more at MocoNews about the Helio shake up and be sure to take a look at my previous Helio blog about their customer service.