Steve HooperFounding Partner
Steve is a Founding Partner of Ignition. He invests in telecommunications and wireless companies. Steve represents Ignition as a director on the boards of Modiv, TTMI, SeaMobile, Sparkplug, Public Mobile, Airbiquity and AVST. Steve also serves on the board of InfoSpace. He previously served on the board of Avogadro (acquired by OpenWave) and UIEvolution (acquired by SquareEnix).
Prior to Ignition, Steve worked closely with Craig McCaw for 18 years and was CEO of every major McCaw Company except Nextel. Most recently, Steve was the Chairman and CEO of Nextlink Communications (now XO Communications), where he was responsible for repositioning the company to a true Integrated Communications Provider offering a full complement of voice and data services.
Prior to Nextlink, Steve served as the co-CEO of Teledesic with Craig McCaw. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of the company and the negotiation of the multi-billion dollar satellite contract with Motorola.
From 1994 to 1997, Steve served as CEO of AT&T Wireless. As President and CEO of AT&T Wireless, Steve grew the company from $1.8 billion sales to $4 billion. As CEO, Steve bought LIN Broadcasting for $3.5 billion; expanded AT&T’s footprint via the PCS auctions; built national GSM networks in India, Hong Kong and Taiwan; worked with Nokia to build the cornerstone of AT&T’s “Digital One Rate” offering; deployed the first nationwide packet-based data network; and launched the first nationwide digital air-to-ground network, achieving 40% market share.
Prior to becoming CEO of AT&T Wireless, Steve was part of the small McCaw team that recognized cellular’s promise in the early eighties. Steve financed McCaw’s expansion into cellular, raising $200 million in the industry’s first high-yield cellular deal and taking the company public in 1987. Steve also had extensive operational responsibility at McCaw. Steve was the president of McCaw’s cable operations and successfully sold that business for $750 million. From there he moved into Cellular operations where he was responsible for a large part of the McCaw cellular footprint in the United States.
Steve holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Seattle University, where he served as a Trustee of the Seattle University Board for 14 years.