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More Executive Shake-Ups at Sprint

Sarah Thomas
11/18/2014

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is shaking up his top-level team once again, assembling more than two dozen executives to support him and saying goodbye to several current executives.

Speaking last week at an investor conference, Claure promised that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) would make it clear it is the best value in wireless in the coming weeks, and he said that the carrier would attract and retain good talent in the near future.

"You'll be surprised in the next 60 to 90 days the caliber of talent we're bringing to Sprint," he said, adding that he is recruiting world-class managers who like the opportunity to fight against two market leaders. (See Sprint's New Boss Plans Cost Cuts.)

Today's management change-up, revealed in a memo distributed to employees and obtained by The Wall Street Journal, appears to be that change. It brings in a number of new executives, but also includes the departure of several executives associated with Sprint's "Framily" plan, which Claure promptly discontinued after taking over as CEO this summer. (See Hesse Out, Claure In: Sprint Is Son's House Now!.)

According to the memo, the latest changes include:

  • Bob Johnson, former retail chief, filling the newly created position of chief experience officer, charged with improving Sprint's customer service.
  • Consultant Frank Boyer joining in the new role of chief procurement officer to look for ways to improve Sprint's cost structure.
  • Sprint CMO Jeff Hallock, responsible for Framily's marketing, leaving the company, along with two other senior executives involved with the campaign.
  • Former head of corporate communications for Visa, Douglas Michelman, joining Sprint as senior vice president of corporate communications, replacing Bill White, who will leave the carrier at the end of the year. This is the only executive appointment the carrier announced via press release.
  • Matt Carter, head of Sprint's business sales, leaving the company.


For more on Sprint and its rivals, head over to our dedicated mobile content channel here on Light Reading.


These are just the latest in a string of high-level changes and employee layoffs. Since Claure joined in August, Sprint has laid off more than 900 employees and said it will cut 2,000 more. (See Sprint to Cut 2,000 More Jobs, Sprint Starts Layoffs, Will Take $160M Charge and Sprint Cuts 452 Jobs at Kansas HQ.)

Owner SoftBank Corp. has also had a big hand in the appointments and cuts. Sprint appointed Softbank's Junichi Miyakawa as technical chief operating officer, to work with CTO Stephen Bye and Chief Network Officer John Saw earlier this month. And, former Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) executive Nikesh Arora has joined Sprint's board. (See SoftBank Man Joins Sprint as Technical COO, Sprint Loses Its Small Cell Guru and Google Biz Boss Leaves for SoftBank.)

Claure made no bones about the fact that massive shake-ups would be needed at the struggling operator when he took the helm. Since then, he's made good on that promise, introducing new, simpler pricing plans, responding quickly to competitive moves and cutting costs from the business. More changes are still likely, including a big marketing push around the holidays to position Sprint as the value leader and internal changes to ensure Sprint can stick around in the competitive US market. (See Sprint's New Family Plans Double Down on Data and Sprint CEO: Price Cuts First, Best Network Next .)

"We'll run this company to create long-term value," he promised at last week's investor conference. "Many times companies slow down growth to hit a certain EBIDTA number. We won't do that. We have to run the company to make decisions that are accretive for the future."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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DHagar
DHagar
11/18/2014 | 8:19:47 PM
Re: New titles
Sarah, now that is a "real" shake-up.  Really bold moves.  I would agree it was needed.

My question is, along with the numerous new titles, have they unveiled their new direction/focus?  If they do it right, it will all be a plus; if not, as you say, people can get lost in the shuffle.

This will definitely be interesting to watch.  I note they state a short-time frame.
DanJones
DanJones
11/18/2014 | 3:22:54 PM
Re: new titles
Wonder where the axe will fall next?
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
11/18/2014 | 10:01:25 AM
new titles
Claure is certainly moving quickly on all these changes, but that is what Sprint needed. It seems like it could get confusing with all these new titles and reporting schemes, but I guess the more experts on hand to help at Sprint, the better.
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