Sprint Loses Its Small Cell Guru

Iyad Tarazi is leaving the company amidst more SoftBank shake-up.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

March 25, 2014

2 Min Read
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

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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