on Monday lost a top executive in what appeared to be a bitter contract dispute.
Peter Adderton, 36, the head of the company's youth-oriented Boost Mobile unit, which sells Nextel calling plans, features and cell phones designed specifically for young consumers, quit on Sunday. Nextel acquired a majority stake in the Australian company in 2002 and took full control earlier this year.
In a press release Monday, Adderton said: "When Nextel bought our company, it was made clear to me that Boost would continue to operate independently and that our job was to build a brand that could dominate the youth wireless market. Instead, they're trying to turn us into Nextel in jeans. Every day, Nextel reins us in a little more and makes us increasingly corporate. That's completely incompatible with what we're trying to accomplish."
There was no comment from Reston, Va.-based Nextel. It shares were up 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.11 in premarket trading.
Adderton founded Boost in 1999. It remains an independent company in Australia and New Zealand.