David Hagan, president and CEO, Boingo Wireless Inc.

Finalist – Technology

When the founder and CEO of Boingo Wireless Inc. left to start another business in 2004, the business was in pretty bad shape – burning through $1 million monthly, running in the red. So when David Hagan, the president of the company, had the opportunity to take a job paying three times his compensation at Boingo, many thought he might also see it as an opportunity to get out. Facing a tough decision, Hagan decided to stay and find a way to turn around Boingo.

At the rate it was going, Boingo had a little more than 12 months’ cash remaining. So after the board asked Hagan to fill the role of CEO, he quickly went about creating a new strategy for the business. As a Wi-Fi service provider, Boingo needed to gain access to a prominent carrier network such as AT &T. So Hagan decided to eliminate the founder’s strategy of aggregating wireless networks.

He proposed a new strategy to the board that driving cost effective customer acquisition deploying capital and building new networks. Winning board support to jumpstart the and to refinance Boingo, Hagan wanted to a business with strategic network assets that could lay a foundation for future growth.

But company he chose cost $40 million, money Boingo didn’t have. After a lengthy process, convinced investors to bridge the $40 million 90 days while he went out and raised funds new investors. In round C, he raised $65 and completed the acquisition of Concourse Communications in 2006.

With the assets to support Hagan’s approach combining owned networks and aggregating Boingo has grown to become the world’s largest Fi service provider.

How to reach: Boingo Wireless Inc., www.boingo.com