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Top General Motors, BBDO Worldwide and Virgin Mobile USA Executives Join Autism Speaks Board of Directors


NEW YORK, NY (February 26, 2007) -- Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, today announced that three new members have been named to its board of directors: Mark LaNeve, North America Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing at General Motors; Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide; and Dan Schulman, CEO of Virgin Mobile USA. The announcement was made by Bob Wright, chairman of the board and co-founder of Autism Speaks.

LaNeve was appointed General Motors North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing in March 2005. He had served as GM North America vice president of marketing and advertising since September, 2004. In 2001, LaNeve was named general manager of Cadillac, returning to GM and Cadillac, where he began his career, following a stint as president and chief executive officer at Volvo Cars of North America, Inc. (VCNA). He left GM in 1997 to become vice president of marketing at VCNA. Prior to leaving GM, he was brand manager for the Pontiac Bonneville and held several sales and marketing positions at Cadillac between 1981 and 1995. LaNeve's success with the Cadillac brand was recognized and rewarded in 2003 when he was named "Grand Marketer of the Year" by Brandweek magazine.

Mr. Robertson became the youngest CEO in BBDO history in June 2004. He has been with BBDO Worldwide since 1995, serving as CEO of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, in London. In 2001, he joined BBDO North America as president and CEO and was elected to the Worldwide Board of Directors. In 2002, he was named to the additional post of president, BBDO Worldwide. As president and CEO, he helped guide BBDO to “Agency of the Year” in 2005, and winner of The Gunn Report as the most awarded agency network in the world, in 2006.

Since August 2001, Mr. Schulman has served as chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile USA, a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel with more than 4.6 million customers. From May 2000 to May 2001, Schulman was president and CEO of priceline.com. He is the former president of the AT&T Consumer Markets Division of AT&T Corp. and was appointed to the AT&T Operations Group. From March 1997 to November 1998, he was president of AT&T WorldNet Service.


ABOUT AUTISM

Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.


ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.