Cognitive-radio startup xG Technology last week announced its new leadership team, with John Coleman becoming CEO of the company and wireless industry veteran George Schmitt being named as CEO of MB Technology Holdings, which owns 39.72% of xG Technology.

As president at Omnipoint Communications in the 1990s, Schmitt oversaw the deployment of some of the earliest digital GSM networks. In an interview with Urgent Communications, Schmitt said that the cognitive-radio xMAX technology could be a breakthrough as significant as the jump from analog to digital networks.

“My son would tell you that he hasn’t seen me this excited since probably 1995,” Schmitt said. “In the end, I believe this company has the time, ability and technology to change what’s going on in this world.”

This was not always the case, as Schmitt’s initial review of xG Technology seven years ago was that the company’s patented solution “was never going to work — or that they may have gotten it to work, but they would never make it a commercial product,” he said. However, after seeing the progress xG Technology had made earlier this year, Schmitt agreed to join the company’s advisory board six months ago before agreeing to become CEO of MB Technology Holdings last week.

In a separate announcement, xG Technology announced that COO John Coleman would become the company’s CEO. A longtime member of the U.S. Marines, Coleman joined xG Technology in March after reviewing the technology for the defense-oriented company he was working for at the time.

“I ended up looking at their technology and wanting to basically partner with xG. … But I felt I could get the technology into the hands of the military faster if I was working inside the lines of xG than external to it,” Coleman said during an interview last summer.

Coleman was named xG’s COO in June and spearheaded the company’s efforts to enter the military sector, which will begin when the Army tests the xMAX platform during the first quarter of next year. He is replacing Rick Mooers as the company’s CEO. Mooers will be executive chairman of the xG Technology board of directors.

“John has proven himself to be an excellent manager and leader. I am proud to have a man of his talent take the helm,” Mooers said in a statement. “We are excited to have the benefit of John Coleman’s industry relationships, breadth of experience, and hands-on operational background leading xG into the next phase of its growth.”