Sprint Loses Its Small Cell Guru
Another networks executive is leaving Sprint as SoftBank continues to shake up the top-level management. The carrier confirmed Tuesday that Iyad Tarazi, vice president of network development and engineering, is the latest to leave the company. (See SoftBank's Son Keeps Sprint on Short Leash.)
A Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) spokeswoman confirmed to Fierce Wireless that Tarazi is leaving the company, and Emerino Marchetti, vice president, engineering and development, will take over as the lead contact for the Network Development team, "in the interim and effectively immediately."
The departure comes just weeks after Sprint announced that Steve Elfman, president of network operations, and Bob Azzi, senior vice president of networks, were also leaving the company. CTO Stephen Bye and former Clearwire CTO John Saw, now chief network officer, are left leading the charge for Sprint's network divisions. (See John Saw to Become Sprint Network Boss, Stephen Bye: Sprint's Network Visionary, and Stephen Bye, The Network Guy.)
Tarazi has been with the carrier since 2005, joining it as part of the Nextel merger. He served as vice president of network engineering at Nextel since 1998. At Sprint, he was integral to the carrier's Network Vision deployment, particularly its femtocell rollout. He was most recently tackling Sprint's plans for LTE picocells in indoor and outdoor environments, earning him the distinction of being named as a Light Reading "mover and shaker." (See Top 6 Small Cells Movers & Shakers and Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014.)
Sprint didn't comment on why Tarazi is leaving or where he's headed next, but his departure leaves Saw and Bye to tackle the remaining, and sizable, work on Sprint's network. The carrier has promised to complete its CDMA rip-and-replace by mid-year, cover 150 million PoPs with 800MHz LTE, and 100 million PoPS with its tri-mode Sprint Spark network by the end of 2014. (See Sprint Adds 20 New LTE Markets and Sprint Sparks to Reduce Churn, Save Unlimited.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading