Sprint Taps Brazilian Mobile Exec to Head Innovation

Former TIM Brasil CMO Roger Solé will be joining Sprint to take on the new dual-role of senior vice president for the Hispanic market and senior vice president of innovation, the carrier announced late Monday.

Solé will be reporting directly to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CEO Marcelo Claure and acting as the president of Sprint Puerto Rico, which it calls the "the hub for Sprint's Latin creativity and innovation," as well as overseeing the carrier's Pinsight Media mobile advertising division and the Sprint Accelerator, its healthcare focused startup program in Kansas City. (See Sprint Accelerator: Changing Carrier DNA.)

Solé joins Sprint after spending three years as CMO of TIM Brasil , where he helped the carrier become the fastest growing mobile operator in Brazil. Before that, he spent six years leading innovation at Telefonica Brasil's Vivo.

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There are more than 54 million Hispanics in the US, making them one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, and one of the most tech savvy as well. Sprint has been stepping up its efforts to attract this growing demographic since Claure took the top job last year. (See Sprint's New Ads Target Hispanic Customers.)

Claure, who grew up in Bolivia, has a long history of outreach to the Hispanic community. While CEO of Brightstar, he forged a partnership with Verizon Wireless and J.Lo to launch the now defunct Viva Móvil brand to target Hispanic wireless users. (See Softbank Invests $1.26B in Brightstar.)

Perhaps the bigger task for Solé, however, will come in his role leading up innovation for the US's third-largest carrier. Sprint has been struggling to attract new customers while also getting its network on par with the competition. Solé is charged with helping it build both unique, differentiated products and services and convincing customers they are worth sticking around for while Sprint works through its network upgrades. (See Sprint Holds off T-Mobile US Offensive.)

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

sarahthomas1011 4/27/2015 | 8:17:31 PM
Reaching the Hispanic population All of the big four are really stepping up their efforts when it comes to targeting Hispanic users. AT&T, of course, is acquiring two Mexican mobile operators. T-Mobile and Univision created a joint MVNO with unique content, and I mentioned Verizon's past initative, although I need to get an update on that as it appears to be no longer in operation: http://getviva.com/ 
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