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EarthLink CEO Betty Dies, Lunsford Remains Interim CEO

Garry Betty, the president and chief executive of EarthLink, has died from complications of cancer, the Internet service provider said. He was 49.

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Betty joined EarthLink in 1996 and oversaw the company's growth from a regional ISP with 500,000 subscribers to a national service provider with more than 5 million. He took a medical leave of absence in November. Atlanta-based EarthLink released no other information on his death.

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

EarthLink said Mike Lunsford will remain interim CEO.

Prior to joining EarthLink, Betty served as CEO of Digital Communications Associates -- and was at the time the youngest CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Betty, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, began his career at IBM, and won the IBM President's Excellence Award in 1982 for his work on the original IBM PC.