Gemplus International has hired Alex Mandl as Chief Executive Officer. Mandl was the former Chairman/CEO of Teligent between 1996 and 2001, following a four stint at AT&T, where worked his way up to President/COO. Gemplus said Mandl will take over as its top executive on September 9th. Reportedly there was some controversy between Gemplus board members over the selection of Mandl. The debate centered on Mandl’s previous ties with the Central Intelligence Agency. Mandl belonged to the board of trustees of In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit organization set up by the CIA in late 1999. In-Q-Tel’s purpose was to keep track of Internet technology on behalf of the CIA. Some board members were concerned that Mandl’s CIA ties could affect its ability to sell its product and services to some countries. Mandl currently serves as a director on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards, including those of Dell Computers and Pfizer. In December, according the The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]), CEO Antonio Perez decided to resign his posts as Chief Executive Officer and director to pursue other interests. Marc Lassus, founder and one of the largest shareholders of Gemplus, also agreed in December to cease his office as chairman. Earlier this month, Gemplus announced that its interim CEO, Ron Mackintosh, has decided to step down as of August 15th.