November 21, 2006 9:45 AM PST

EarthLink CEO taking medical leave

EarthLink CEO Garry Betty was diagnosed Monday with a serious form of cancer and will be taking a medical leave of absence, the company announced Tuesday.

Mike Lunsford, an executive vice president who leads the voice and access business unit at EarthLink, will act as the interim CEO and immediately assume Betty's daily responsibilities.

Garry Betty Garry Betty

Previously, Lunsford managed 70 percent of EarthLink's revenue and 1,200 employees. He started at EarthLink in 1999 and is credited with overseeing the introduction of the company's broadband service, according to an EarthLink statement.

Betty has been leading EathLink's foray into citywide Wi-Fi contracts.

"Garry is a fierce competitor and has the determination to beat this disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his wife and his family," Sky Dayton, EarthLink's founder and the current CEO of Helio, said in a statement.

Robert Kavner, chairman of EarthLink's board of directors, also released a statement expressing his confidence in Lunsford's leadership while Betty is on leave.

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EarthLink Inc., executive vice president, CEO


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