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Universal Broadband Founders Quit

September 15, 2000|From Dow Jones Newswires

Universal Broadband Networks Inc., a high-speed communications carrier, said Thursday that its founding chairman and vice chairwoman have resigned, effective immediately, along with two top managers they hired.

The Irvine telecommunications firm said in a press release that the husband-wife team of Chairman Jon H. Marple and Vice Chairwoman Mary E. Blake also surrendered 2.25 million shares of stock and all previously granted stock options to UBN.

The shares and options will be canceled, reducing the company's total shares outstanding to 18.6 million from about 20.8 million.

The resignations of Marple and Blake include agreements that provide Universal's independent board members with an irrevocable proxy to vote the founders' remaining shares, representing about 4.7 million shares, or about 25% of total shares outstanding.

Marple and Blake also agreed to a so-called lockup agreement to curtail their personal stock sales. Marple and Blake will not hold positions within the company or be involved in its funding efforts or operations.

The couple's departure ends a process begun earlier this year. In May, they resigned as officers shortly after the company's stock was moved to Nasdaq's main trading venue, its national market system. Six years ago, both had signed consent judgments over alleged securities violations.

In addition to their departures, two managers they hired, Chief Operating Officer Nancy Hobbs and Chief Technology Officer Steve Pierson, also resigned to pursue travel and personal interests.

The company said the resignations will help its efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. A company spokesman said Universal Broadband plans to fill the positions from within.

The stock lost 22 cents Thursday to close at $2.41 a share in Nasdaq trading.

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