News Release Details

Wi-LAN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT

12/08/2003


CALGARY, Canada - December 8, 2003 - Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, Executive Chairman of Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN), today announced the following executive appointment:

  • Dr. Sayed-Amr (Sisso) El-Hamamsy, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The recent promotions of Greg Masuda from Director of Operations to Vice President, Operations, and of Shawn Taylor from Chief Scientist to Vice President, Technology, have made the Chief Operating Officer (COO) position redundant, so the COO position has been eliminated. The Acting Chief Financial Officer, Keith Bittner, and all Wi-LAN vice presidents will now report directly to Dr. El-Hamamsy.
  • Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, formerly Chairman and CEO, will continue to be actively involved in the new role of Executive Chairman. In this capacity, Dr. Zaghloul will play an active role in continuing to guide the strategic direction of the Company. Dr. Zaghloul will focus on strategic matters such as mergers and acquisitions, financings, and protecting Wi-LAN’s robust patent portfolio.

"I am happy that Sisso has demonstrated the ability to manage Wi-LAN’s operations and I am confident that he will be successful in implementing our vision of turning Wi-LAN into a market leader in broadband wireless access and an important player in fourth generation cellular phones," said Dr. Hatim Zaghloul. "I have been progressively transferring additional responsibility to Sisso since he assumed the role of President last January, and he has shown himself to be up to the challenge. I am very confident in Wi-LAN’s ability to achieve the vision, and I intend to maintain my ownership in Wi-LAN securities at its current level for the foreseeable future."

In fiscal 2003, Dr. El-Hamamsy’s management enabled Wi-LAN to achieve $26.8 million in sales, meeting Wi-LAN’s guidance of $25 to $30 million revenue and generating positive cash flow from operations in the third and fourth quarters. Dr. El-Hamamsy has also been directly involved in Wi-LAN’s investor relations marketing efforts in 2003, raising $24.2 million in additional equity capital to dramatically improve Wi-LAN’s working capital and ensure the Company is able to finance the growth and industry consolidation that is anticipated over the next few years.

Dr. El-Hamamsy also was the driving force behind the introduction of the Libra 5800 product series in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. This is Wi-LAN’s first commercial W-OFDM broadband wireless product series that is available for sale in the United States, and the Company is experiencing strong global demand for it.

"I have always enjoyed a close working relationship with Hatim since I joined Wi-LAN in January 2001," said Dr. Sayed-Amr (Sisso) El-Hamamsy. "I look forward to continuing to rely on Hatim's vision, strategic insight and experience to ensure Wi-LAN’s continued success. I expect 2004 to be a very exciting year for Wi-LAN, and I am confident that we have the team in place to execute on our aggressive strategy."

About Wi-LAN Inc.

Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, offering businesses, including telecom service providers, and government enterprises effective, economic and secure wireless high-speed communications solutions. Wi-LAN specializes in high-speed Internet access, data network extension, and wireless data and telephony backhaul, utilizing its high quality products and industry-leading technologies. Wi-LAN believes its W-OFDM patents are necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE* standards 802.16 WirelessMAN*, 802.11a or 802.11g, the ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2 standard or the current draft of the proposed ETSI* BRAN HiperMAN standard. Wi-LAN licenses its W-OFDM technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor companies. Wi-LAN is the Chair Company of the OFDM Forum (www.ofdm-forum.com) and an active member of the WiMAX* Forum (www.wimaxforum.org). Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at www.wi-lan.com.

Forward Looking Information

Certain statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, may include forward-looking information that involves various risks and uncertainties. These may include, without limitation, statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties related to all aspects of the wireless communications industry. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not restricted to, continued increased demand for the Company's products, the Company's ability to maintain its technological leadership in the field of high-speed wireless communications, the Company's ability to attract and retain key employees, the enforceability of the Company's patents, and the availability of key components.

These uncertainties may cause actual results to differ from information contained herein. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.

* All trademarks and brands mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners.

For more information please contact:

Wi-LAN Inc.Corporate Communications and Investor Relations
Ken Wetherell
Ph: (403) 207-6329
E-mail: kwetherell@wi-lan.com

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