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Mobile

More Turmoil at Openwave

10:10 AM -- Mobile messaging, applications and optimization specialist Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV) is having a tough time of it just now.

The company, currently trying to build its business around its newer Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) systems, recently announced shrinking sales, increasing operating losses and plans to cut up to 20 percent of its staff. (See Openwave Cuts Staff as Losses Mount.)

Now CEO Ken Denman has quit, for personal reasons, with immediate effect, and CFO Anne Brenna has taken the helm while the company's board searches for a new CEO.

In the statement announcing the CEO's sudden departure, Charles Levine, who was Openwave's chairman on Denman's final day at the company (Sept. 9), noted that the now former CEO had "rearchitected" the company's product strategy, focused the company on two core all-IP platforms (messaging and mediation) and launched the program to "pursue patent licensing agreements from multiple parties." The new CEO will be responsible for building on those strategic initiatives. (See Openwave Sues Apple & RIM and OpenWave Amps Up Browser Apps.)

But, hold on, Levine isn't the chairman anymore! His final act as the head of the board, of which he is still a member, was to talk up Denman's achievements. Now Peter Feld, a managing member at hedge fund Starboard Value, which holds a 9.9 percent stake in Openwave, is the new chairman. He joined the board on July 28.

All this turmoil is making investors nervous: Openwave's stock is down 4.9 percent to $1.75 in early Monday trading.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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