Sprint names Marcelo Claure as new CEO

By Richard Devine on 6 Aug 2014 09:01 am EDT

Following an earlier rumor, Sprint has today announced a change at the top with a new CEO. Replacing the outgoing Dan Hesse will be Marcelo Claure, a member of the board and current CEO of Brightstar, a Softbank subsidiary company. Claure will resign his current position and take over at Sprint effect August 11.

The news comes in a week when Sprint has also reportedly pulled out of talks to merge with rival carrier, T-Mobile. Check out the press release in full below.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 06, 2014 - Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) today announced that its Board of Directors named Marcelo Claure as the company's next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective August 11. Claure, 43, joined the Sprint Board of Directors in January and is the Founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. As President and CEO, Claure's first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint's network by leveraging its strong spectrum holdings as well as ensuring that Sprint always maintains truly competitive offers in the marketplace.

Since founding Brightstar in 1997, Claure has grown the company from a small Miami-based distributor into a global business, with $10.5 billion in gross revenue for the year ended in 2013. Brightstar has become the world's largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services to the wireless industry. Claure was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, highlighting exceptional global leaders 40 years of age or younger. Throughout his career, Claure has received several Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of the year awards.

"Marcelo is a successful entrepreneur who transformed a start-up into a global telecommunications company. He has the management experience, passion and drive to create the strongest network and offer the best products and services in the wireless industry," said Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son. "While we continue to believe industry consolidation will enhance competitiveness and benefit customers, our focus moving forward will be on making Sprint the most successful carrier."

"I've had the unique opportunity to spend the past few months actively engaging with Sprint's Board, management team and front-line employees," said Claure. "I am honored to have the opportunity to now lead the Sprint team as we mobilize to become the wireless carrier of choice in the U.S. In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint."

Claure will resign his position at Brightstar effective August 11 and SoftBank announced it would acquire Claure's remaining interest in the Company.

Claure succeeds Dan Hesse, who joined Sprint as President and CEO in December 2007 and led the company through a series of acquisitions, including the merger with SoftBank, and a multi-year overhaul of its nationwide network, including the shutdown of the Nextel network. Hesse received Corporate Responsibility Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and was named by Glassdoor in 2014 as being among the highest-rated CEOs by employees, and twice received Wireless Week's Leadership Award. In 2014's American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sprint is the most improved U.S. company in overall customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years.

"I'm proud of the resilience of Sprint's people during a difficult transformation and I'm optimistic about how they will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future," Hesse said. "It's been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than six-and-a-half years. Marcelo has been a great addition to Sprint's Board and his entrepreneurial background, business savvy, industry experience and strong relationship with Masayoshi Son make Marcelo an excellent choice to lead Sprint going forward."

"Dan has guided Sprint through a challenging period and has built a solid foundation for future growth. The Board sincerely appreciates his leadership," said Son.

Claure will be based at Sprint headquarters in Overland Park, KS, and plans to relocate to the Kansas City area.

Reader comments

Sprint names Marcelo Claure as new CEO


Will they be just fine? They did post a quarterly profit of 48 cents a share, but 90 cents came from the spectrum swap with Verizon. 48-90=-42, which means they would have posted a massive loss this past quarter. ARPU dropped again, and will most likely drop again with their 4 lines/$100 plan.

Right. That's like living paycheck to paycheck. And I understand that acquisition costs are high, and ultimately acquired customers are supposed to push you into the black, but how long has Uncarrier being going on for, now? And they're still posting 42 cents/share losses absent the money from the Verizon swap?

Yes, the merger if off for now. I suspect that Sprint got a peak at the books and decided to back away from the offer.

Hopefully this cat understands the value of BlackBerry because he doesn't seem to know much else about mobile.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

Marcelo is a Bolivian entrepreneur and not only a member of the board but the founder of Brightstar. Rest assured that he understands mobile perfectly as Brightstar was born as distributor and service provider for the wireless industry. I worked at Motorola back in 2003 and Brightstar was doing their repair service already. It's a mayor distributor for most cellphone manufacturers around the world and in some cases they take care of the manufacturing process, kind of like Foxconn. He knows mobile. ;)

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In addition companies like best buy in the US, use bright star to manage all inventory. This is a huge move for sprint to reduce operating costs on inventory.

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Did Sprint ever complete the network merger with Nextel? I can't believe they would go down that same road of incompatible technologies again. Hesse deserved to be canned for even making the offer. And now they are on the hook for a merger break up fee. Good use of shareholder money. Enjoy your golden parachute. Thanks for another Sprint failure.

Yeah Sprint bought Nextel years ago and used it's spectrum. But they did shut it down its unfortunate I liked Nextel I think they could've done more with it. I wanted to get a BlackBerry With Nextel Connect originally from Sprint but then Sprint started to shut it down so it was not in my best interest to stay with them.

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I also miss the Nextel says, they were indispensable when working as a 1st responder on 9/11. You should check out the app named "Zello" in BlackBerry World. It makes use of push to talk and you can add your own contacts. Only downside is that it needs some interesting permissions on your phone and you need to go and register on their site but once done it works great. Even works on IPhone's and of course BlackBerry.

Disclaimer : I am in no way involved with the developer, just wanted to give a fellow CB'r an option.

Posted from my Rockin Z10 - HOORAH

So Son couldn't get the FCC and DOJ to agree that consumers would be better off with less choices and less competition, Shocker!!! I guess he thought that since he was a foreign investor that it wouldn't look at bad if he could T-Mobile and his sprint to merge and some how make things work just like they did with Nextel, or with AT&T trying to buy T-Mobile a couple of years ago. Yeah good work there buddy.
Why don't you try this out, invest in your own company and lower prices to incentivise people to stop over paying for their services and get better value.

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lets see, not offering the Q10 at the same time as every other US carrier(two months late). no blackberry displays in stores. sales reps that steer you towards other OS's. No full touchscreen BB's (Z10 or Z30) offered. no reply public or or private to a 100 page 1500 person petition to bring the Z10 to Sprint.

I hope Sprint offers the Passport, or even the classic, but i do not hold my breath waiting.

As far as not having BlackBerry devices on display in stores, what stores? lol. All the Sprint stores in my area have closed down. Although I'm a happy Sprint customer, (other than the fact that they never sold the Z series devices) it seems that they have cut all costs possible to successfully implement "Network Vision " .

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Raino, I am ver la positive they will because as I was saying before, BlackBerry and Brightstar have a long standing relationship between them. Brightstar does their distribution in a lot of countries around the world (all of Latam for sure) AND in some countries they even take care of the phones assembly process. Knowing Marcelo comes to Sprint being the key piece that put all of it together, I can only think they will both benefit from that relationship.

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The only announcement I'd be interested to hear from Sprint is "we will now carry all Blackberry devices and we will offer them first."

Claure was founder and CEO of Brightstar, which started as a distributor in Latin America with a checkered background and since grown to be a global, world class player.. His background is distribution, not carrier operation. It is true that Brightstar had an intensely close relationship with the old RIM and was the key distributor for some regions in the world. That is now gone, as are the people are RIM / BB that were part of that deal.

Softbank / Brightstar / Sprint group business strategy has been about becoming the low cost aquirerer / trader of mobile phones. I don't see how Claure is more prepared to save an operator that is on its back with the legs in the air. I wish him well.

But Sprint is going to have to focus on network build out and offering devices that people really want to get. I dont think that includes BB as a focus.

Brightstar still has a very strong relationship with BlackBerry and still plays a mayor role in some regions for them. I can only think that Claure's new position at Sprint will benefit BlackBerry in having yet another carrier offering their phones.

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So write one paragraph and then attach the press release? Yeah, great journalism.

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Sprint probably figured out that there would be insurmountable opposition to this merger at the FCC and/or DOJ, and they decided to cut their losses before it came before the regulators. Remember, there was a break-up fee stipulated as well, and Sprint pulling out now may have saved them this fee. Unlike AT&T, they can't afford to be paying these billion dollar fees (well, Softbank can, but probably didn't want to.)

Sprint has problems, but which carrier doesn't? I don't get dinged on data with Sprint. I would like to see Sprint do much more with BlackBerry, especially with Passport and OS. 10.3x. Having said this, why is there so much bitterness in these forums?

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