Ronald Grawert has claimed the seat that some predicted might never get filled. He is MobileMedia Corp.’s new chief executive officer, effective immediately.

New Jersey-based MobileMedia also brought on board Joseph Bondi, managing director of the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, as chairman of restructuring.

Grawert has a long-standing career in the telecommunications industry. He comes from GTE Mobilnet Inc., where for the last two years he was executive vice president of operations, responsible for field operations in the company’s cellular business. During that time, Grawert successfully tackled operational problems including churn and bad debt, said MobileMedia.

Between 1992 and 1995, Grawert was president of the Atlanta-based company, during which time he implemented a strategic initiative in wireless data, said MobileMedia. He also was responsible for complete loss and profit in GTE Mobilnet’s business unit.

Prior to Grawert’s appointment, MobileMedia Chairman David Bayer had served as CEO since former head Mike Lorelli left the post in November. While his career diary boasts top posts at Tambrands and PepsiCo, Lorelli and MobileMedia’s board of directors agreed his skill set-as a marketer and growth driver-did not meet the carrier’s need for an expert in operations recovery.

Lorelli joined MobileMedia in September, and while his stay was short, it was during his brief direction the company announced its poor third quarter earnings and Federal Communications Commission violations, anticipated bank covenant violations and high third quarter churn.

Last July, a management shakeup resulted in MobileMedia CEO Gregory Rorke, Chief Operating Officer Jack Kealey and Senior Vice President of Operations Rodolfo Ploder leaving the company.

To date, a new COO has not been selected.

Alvarez & Marsal is a turnaround consulting firm engaged last December by MobileMedia. Bondi’s history includes turnaround success with Phar-Mor Inc., where he was senior vice president, and Republic Health Corp., where he served as senior vice president and chief administrative officer.


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