EarthLink CEO Garry Betty dies

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Garry Betty, the man responsible for growing EarthLink Inc.'s Internet access subscriber base tenfold to 5 million customers in 10 years, has died at the age of 49.

Mike Lunsford is the Atlanta-based Internet service provider's interim CEO, a post he has held since Nov. 27 when Mr. Betty took a leave of absence.

"Garry was instrumental in building EarthLink into the company it is today," Robert M. Kavner, chairman of EarthLink, said in a statement.

Mr. Betty joined EarthLink in 1996, having served as CEO of Digital Communications Associates Inc. before working for the ISP. He was a member on the boards of Equifax, Global Payments Inc. and the Carter Center Board of Councilors.

He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

An information and tribute Web site for Mr. Betty is up at http://gbetty.earthlink.net. His family has requested donations to the Garry Betty Foundation c/o EarthLink Inc., Level A, 1375 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309.

"Garry was at once the general you wanted at your side in the battle and the friend you wanted to celebrate with when the war was won," Sky Dayton, EarthLink founder and Helio CEO, said in a statement.

Mr. Betty died of complications from cancer.

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