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

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Joe Stanganelli 3/31/2014 | 10:32:31 PM
Re: Sprint's network strategy You've never seen CSI: Miami?
Sarah Thomas 3/31/2014 | 6:25:49 PM
Re: Sprint's network strategy Woah, I'm not sure I follow your point here, but I don't care...love the little emoticon putting on his sunglasses.
Joe Stanganelli 3/26/2014 | 9:14:35 PM
Re: Sprint's network strategy I guess they didn't like...

( •_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■


the way Sprint was being run.



Joe Stanganelli 3/26/2014 | 9:07:27 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job Not to be a Negative Nancy, but I would suspect what he'd be able to discuss would be quite limited -- especially if he did not leave on good terms, which is a signal for pending litigation/settlement negotiations.
Joe Stanganelli 3/26/2014 | 9:05:48 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job There are frequently ways around those non-compete agreements.

And even in the cases where there aren't, it's not uncommon for people to say "screw it" and deal with the legal consequences -- usually resulting in some form of settlement -- because their business plan is that good (or, at least, they believe it is)).
Sarah Thomas 3/26/2014 | 5:15:26 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job Yep, please do! My handle is @sreedy.
L Capital 3/26/2014 | 5:14:00 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job Sarah are you on twitter? Would like to follow. Thanks
nasimson 3/26/2014 | 12:19:50 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job Thanks Sarah for considering this one. I'll excitedly look forward to it. Would be an interesting piece.
Sarah Thomas 3/26/2014 | 12:14:53 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job We can certainly try to do that. Whether we'll be able to get access is a different story!
nasimson 3/26/2014 | 12:11:31 PM
Re: Tarazi's next job > That's a bummer to see Tarazi go. He was always an interesting interview. 

@ Sarah: Why does not Light Reading call Tarazi for an (exit) interview? There may be some good learning for rest of us. He might share some interesting perspective on SoftBank, Sprint & the industry at large. 
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