Executive Chose “Exciting” Entrepreneurship, and Failed

We read the stories of those who choose entrepreneurship and succeed. The stories of those who choose entrepreneurship and fail, are less often told. Those who fail do not always regret their choice, nor should they.

(p. A21) Alex Mandl was a leading contender for the chief executive job at AT&T Corp. in 1996 when he defected to head a wireless-telecommunications startup that became Teligent Inc.

. . .

Heading a startup, he said, was “the most exciting thing to do.”

Teligent had ambitious plans to undercut prices of traditional phone companies by setting up a microwave network that would beam voice and data to business users via rooftop antennas. But Teligent had technical problems, losses piled up and investors fled. Mr. Mandl resigned as chief executive in April 2001, shortly before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

For the full obituary, see:

James R. Hagerty. “Executive Risked Career on a Startup.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, April 2, 2022): A21.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date April 1, 2022, and has the title “Alex Mandl, Who Gave Up a Top AT&T Job to Lead a Startup, Has Died at Age 78.”)

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