Adderton: “I’m Still CEO”

Reports of Peter Adderton’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. In an exclusive interview with peHUB, the Amp’d Mobile CEO says that he remains in charge of the company, despite numerous blog reports suggesting otherwise (see here, here, here and my piece from this morning).

He does, however, also acknowledge that the company is in the midst of conversations regarding its future strategic direction.

“I know they’re out there,” Adderton says of the blog reports. “But I’m still CEO… I think there’s a chance the company might put out a press release later today saying it officially.”

So why is there such rampant speculation? Because the internal conversations Adderton refers to are likely quite contentious. Amp’d has raised around $350 million in total VC funding, which means that its investors have more at stake than they would in a typical venture deal.

Moreover, the board has swelled to around 20 people (including observers), which almost always devolves into cliques. Adderton obviously has his devotees – which include some Amp’d VCs whose original investments were largely based on Adderton’s involvement – but also has detractors (including one executive who’s been peddling the story that Adderton was fired).

“It’s a power stuggle,” says a source close to the company. “I think there’s been a lot of ebb and flow in terms of who’s winning at any given time.”

So the interesting question here isn’t so much what becomes of Adderton, but rather what becomes of Amp’d. The company almost certainly will raise at least another $100 million in private equity of debt financing (perhaps more), but will first have to decide on a clear vision. For example, does it focus more on being a content provider or a carrier? Does it retain its market focus on the current MTV audience, or skew more cross-generational?

These are just some of the many issues currently being hashed out by the Amp’d board. If Adderton’s vision – whatever that is – wins out, then he stays on board as CEO. If it loses, this week’s blog rumors will finally be validated.