EarthLink CEO passes away at age 49

Garry Betty died Tuesday due to complications from cancer.

NEW YORK ( -- EarthLink Inc. said Garry Betty, its president and chief executive officer, died Tuesday due to complications from a serious form of cancer at age 49.

Betty had been with the leading independent Internet service provider since 1996.

Garry Betty was the youngest CEO of a NYSE listed company before joining EarthLink in 1996.

Betty graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979 with a degree in chemical engineering.

The institute named him the Young Alumnus of the Year in 1993 and he was also included in the "Top 40 Under 40" list in Atlanta's business community, and named Outstanding Young Person by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Betty began his career at IBM (up $0.87 to $98.02, Charts) and received the company's most prestigious President's Excellence Award in 1982 for his work associated with the IBM Personal Computer.

Before joining EarthLink (up $0.01 to $7.11, Charts), Betty served as CEO of Digital Communications Associates, Inc. (DCA) and became the youngest CEO of a New York Stock Exchange listed company.

At DCA, Betty successfully reorganized and led the company out of a two-year slump. Betty also served as senior vice president of sales, marketing and international operations at Hayes Microcomputer Products, and has been credited with turning the modem into a consumer commodity.

"Garry was an extraordinary business partner and friend, and he will be sorely missed," Sky Dayton, founder of EarthLink and CEO of Helio, said in a statement. "Garry accomplished so much and made life better for so many people, that as we mourn his passing, we also celebrate his achievements."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Garry's wife, Kathy, and the rest of his family," Dayton said.

Memorial arrangements are being made at this time.

EarthLink was not immediately available for comment on the type of cancer Betty suffered from.

The Atlanta-based company also announced Mike Lunsford will continue as interim CEO at EarthLink, a position he has held since Nov. 27, 2006, when Betty took a leave of absence, the company said in a statement.


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