Yipes's Parrick Gets the Boot

Jerry Parrick takes a back seat while the distressed carrier's board names Dennis Muse to the CEO chair

March 28, 2002

3 Min Read
Yipes's Parrick Gets the Boot

It's been a tough week at Yipes Communications Inc. On Monday, the startup service provider announced that it is filing for bankruptcy protection (see Yipes Joins Chapter 11 Club). By yesterday, it had a new CEO.

Jerry Parrick, founder of Yipes and chairman of its board, has been replaced -- apparently as of Tuesday night. The new CEO is Dennis D. Muse. Yipes officials say Muse joined the company in January as chief operating officer, although no announcement was made and his name does not appear on the executive roster on Yipes' home page.

So what gives? Why is Parrick out? Who is Muse, and what's the hope for his tenure at Yipes?

Yipes isn't saying much on any of these points. Members of the board refuse to comment on the switch, and the PR contact, Jonathan Marshall, issued this statement in an email message to Light Reading last night:

  • "In view of the special demands upon senior management during Yipes' reorganization, Jerry Parrick and the Board of Directors have turned over day-to-day operations to Dennis D. Muse. Jerry will continue to handle Yipes' relations with investors and partners as Founder and Chairman of the Board."

Muse, 45, has an interesting track record for the job. In fact, his resume shows plenty of experience with troubled companies. He most recently worked for iAsiaworks, a public Web-hosting provider with a focus on the Asian market. Muse worked there from April 2001 to October 2001, during which time economic conditions helped push the firm into disarray. Despite numerous cutbacks, including the shutdown of Hong Kong operations and sizeable layoffs during Muse's tenure, the company failed to garner new funding and went into liquidation on March 7, 2002, two days after Muse resigned from its board to "pursue other business interests."

Prior to joining iAsiaworks, Muse was CEO of ReFlex Communications, a provider of DSL services for multitenant dwellings in Seattle. Muse was at the helm of ReFlex from February 2000 to April 2001, while the company underwent a series of misfortunes, including inability to get new funding. Local newspapers report the firm filed for liquidation in March 2001, and some of ReFlex's assets were bought late last year by InterQuest Communications, another broadband service provider for residential housing developments in the Western U.S.

Muse's earlier career spanned better times for the telecom industry. He worked from January 1998 to February 2000 as president of the Telecom division of MCI Worldcom, where he oversaw "100 markets across North America," expanding the group's revenue from $500 million to $1.2 billion within two years, according to a press release issued by iAsiaworks when he joined that company.

Muse headed up the wholesale and Internet sales and support division of MFS Communications between January 1996 and December 1997, during which period the company came under the umbrella of acquirer WorldCom Inc. (Nasdaq: WCOM).

Muse started his career as a salesman at Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON). He holds a BS in business and marketing from Southern Illinois University.

Whatever the future holds, it's clear Muse has experience overseeing companies that are in dire straits. He's been faced with renegotiating debt, attempting to raise funds, and making tough decisions in hard times.

What's not clear is whether, given the prospects for startup carriers in the near term, Muse will bring new hope to the struggling Yipes -- or serve as its undertaker.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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