Light Reading
More layoffs may be imminent as the new top dog reorganizes the company to be more sales-focused and ditch its 'loser' mindset.

SoftBank's Son Keeps Sprint on Short Leash

Sarah Reedy
1/20/2014
100%
0%

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son wants to make it clear he won't be a hands-off investor in Sprint, and more employees might be shown the door -- or choose to find it on their own -- as he restructures the carrier to become more sales-driven.

In an internal memo obtained by Light Reading, a Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) executive warned employees about changes due to be implemented during the coming months. The letter asks employees to stay focused on their work, support internal clients and colleagues, and remain frugal and cost conscious.

It reads:

    As we have all heard from [CEO Dan Hesse], our company will evolve into what can be best described as a sales-driven organizational company model. For this reason, some modifications need to be made to the current organizational structure and you will soon start to hear more about how and in what areas these changes will take place.

Hesse might be delivering the news, but the vision is clearly coming from Masayoshi Son, the driving force behind SoftBank Corp. 's acquisition of Sprint. (See Softbank Closes on Sprint Acquisition.)

He recently called on employees to join forces with "our Japanese unit and work as a single entity," and wrote in a post on the Nikkei Asian Review that he didn't want to repeat mistakes he made when running US companies Comdex and Ziff Davis, where he let American executives run those companies at their discretion.

That previous strategy was "based on my belief that Japanese owners should not interfere too much with the U.S. executives' business management," he wrote. "That belief was wrong."

Son said that by leaving American executives to their own devices he was acting as an investor and not a leader. His new plan to be hands-on means he has to sometimes yell at Sprint executives. As an example, he said he learned in a recent meeting that Sprint's advertising was not cost effective. Cue the yelling.

"This made me quite angry," he said. "Sprint spends a large amount of money on advertising every year, but its effects have been almost negligible. I directed the Sprint executives to terminate all existing contracts with the company's advertising agencies. We will shortly start from scratch on advertising, with new agents also making proposals."

The SoftBank boss clearly has big changes in mind for the struggling carrier, and that's already included big cuts. Sprint has had several rounds of layoffs related to the SoftBank takeover and also following Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire. Son said he plans to adopt the aggressive approach he did when he took over the Japanese arm of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), which he called a "sinking ship" when he took over. (See Sprint Lays Off 800 Customer Service Reps and Sprint Axes More Clearwire Employees.)

As such, he admits he's also running the risk of forcing managers and employees to quit. At Vodafone, a third of executives left within six months. Sprint CEO Hesse, however, won't be among them as he's now on a five-year contract cycle with the company that won't come up for review before 2018. (See Sprint CEO Hesse to Stay On Through 2018.)

Son didn't go as far as to comment on the two biggest rumors circulating around Sprint -- that Softbank is planning to merge Sprint with T-Mobile US Inc. , as well as move its headquarters to California. But he made it clear Sprint will be seeing a lot more of him and the top-level Softbank execs, regardless of cultural and language barriers, as they work to reverse Sprint's status as a loser in the US. (See Report: SoftBank Preps $19B Bid for T-Mobile and Sprint: Heading to California?.)

"In the past, I would probably have told Japanese executives at SoftBank to focus on Japanese operations if their English was not at a high level," Son said. "Not anymore."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(31)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
tayloryoung723
100%
0%
tayloryoung723,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/26/2014 | 8:03:18 AM
Sprint is a Bully
I think Sprints biggest problem is how they treat thier customers. They bully them and they lie to them. Here is a whole article about it:http://mysprintexpierence.blogspot.com/2014/01/sprint-lies-and-bullies-customers.html

 

This is ridiculous and nobody should trust them in my opinion. They need to stop playing games and get their network to actually work. They only charge people $25 a month now....thats evidence that they know thier network is bad and that they are losing customers. In my opinion, Sprint is in HUGE trouble. I hope they go out of buiness quick. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 10:54:50 AM
Sprint layoffs confirmed
Sprint confirmed it will be laying off people today in an SEC filing: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/101830/000010183014000004/a8-k20140116.htm. Didn't say how many are being cut, but it will take a $1.65 million charge for doing so.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 10:50:24 AM
Re: Repairable ?
If rebranding is necessary, that does bode well for T-Mobile. I agree that the name has been damaged. And, it looks like Sprint isn't going to try to bring back the Nextel name for the enterprise either, as rumored. Not sure if that would've been a good thing at this point anyway.
CJBurgos83
50%
50%
CJBurgos83,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/22/2014 | 9:46:55 PM
Repairable ?
The question no longer is if Sprint has the capacity of deploying ,sustaining scalable spectrum while remaining profitable.

The real question is if the Brand is repairable by these advancement. 

My personal opinion: it's difficult to say. I think we've reached a point where rebranding is almost necessary . 

Although smaller, Tmobile has the momentum to drive that brand. I think this is what Mr Son is seeing into the future.

-8 year Sprint, Verizon Customer.
Joeynach
50%
50%
Joeynach,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/22/2014 | 11:41:48 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
TMobile seems to be pretty stacked with wide amounts of spectrum to deploy LTE on, even if it is within the 1700/2100 AWS block.  The fact that they started with 10x10 deployments at the core, only to expand to 15x15, and 20x20 in markets where they have the assets can not be emphasizied enough.  That makes Sprint the only carrier, that initiated their LTE build out on 10Mhz spectrum (5x5 carrier), instead of 20Mhz (10x10 carrier) like the other big three.  This little known fact is the achillies heel of Sprint's Network Vision, and something I don't think you will see CEO Dan Hesse mentioning in any article anytime soon.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/22/2014 | 11:28:34 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
Well, you're definitely more educated on spectrum bands than most consumers. :) T-Mobile is working on deploying in 10x10 -- has it in 40+ of the top major cities, and is now doing 20x20 channels, but it's still early in the upgrade.

http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/4g-lte/t-mobile-talks-up-a-banner-year-in-lte/d/d-id/706926
Joeynach
50%
50%
Joeynach,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/22/2014 | 11:22:57 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
Yeah I have noticed their new campaign.  Its defaintely caught my interest.  But it still requires a new user to pay $400+ for a new phone that works on TMobile's bands.  Thats again, a hefty investment to switch carriers.  I am also not sure as to the technology stack that TMobile has deployed their LTE on, I believe its also one of the higher AWS frequencies in the 1700/2100 range.  To me that is not that different from Sprint's deployment on 1900 PCS.  These high frequencies means LTE signal strength fade's much more quickly indoors and within structures. 

I have already tested Sprint's against ATT/VZW's low freq 700Mhz networks, it doesn't even compare.  Step one foot down subway stairs, into elevator well, parking garage, office building bathroom, etc and your Sprint LTE connection is gone, but your ATT/VZW is strong and pumping.  Thats the difference between high and low LTE freq. 


I would also need to learn more about the Spectrum width of TMobile's LTE, last thing you want is to switch to TMobile only to find its also been deployed on the minimum 5x5 carrier like Sprint's.  Suseptible to traffic slow downs when subscriber volume and demand rises.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/22/2014 | 10:55:09 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
hmm So Clearwire racked up the charges for you, or someone stole your identity? Either way, hope you got your money back!
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/22/2014 | 10:52:27 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
Well, T-Mobile will now pay any ETF, not just from AT&T switchers, so that's an option for you!
VernonDozier
50%
50%
VernonDozier,
User Rank: Lightning
1/22/2014 | 4:01:05 AM
Re: Son shining on Sprint
I don't know where to cite, but Clearwire had a network in Nevada years ago. 


I could say that by chance, I had a previous phone number owned by Clearwire, and someone at UPS Global Services called me, and left me a nasty message saying I needed to personally pay a $250,000 UPS bill.  (this actually occured)  I asked what the invoce amounts for the last ten statements were from, and where the desnation was.

They provided them between somewhere in Shenzen China to Las Vegas. 

I said "Well, I can't pay that..."  The UPS collections agent then said "I can take a corporate credit card for the minimum amount of $25,000 and we can finance the rest."  

I said "Look, I don't recognize these charges.  I'll tell you what, please serve the company with proper legal paperwork; and take it to collections.  I'll let my legal team know.  If the charges are correct, we'll pay the full amount.  However, at this time, you should probably send this account to collections, and pursue all legal options because it seems all the charges are fraudulent.  I'm not going to perform business with UPS ever again!"

I'm sure John Stanton really enjoyed that.  He was douche #2 at McCaw Cellular (AT&T).
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Telefonica Spain Considers Antenna Selection for LTE Network Deployment

7|4|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Tony Conlan, Global CTO of RAN, Telefonica, shares his opinion on antennas in LTE network deployment: Tower space is the premier requirement on antennas; reliability is important to reduce OPEX; and EasyRET solution will be helpful for antenna maintenance.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
dtac Thailand: Multi-band Antenna & Capacity Solution for a Better MBB Experience

7|3|14   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


With the development of LTE, tower space and load are limited for new antenna, but users' capacity requirements are growing fast. To provide a better MBB experience, Panya Vechbanyongratana from dtac Thailand shared his experiences and antenna requirements.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Panel: Network of the Future

7|2|14   |   1:00:57   |   (0) comments


Full-length video of the ATIS Panel Discussion: 'How Far Away Is the Network of the Future & What Does It Look Like?' from the Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/17/2014
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed