Wireless carrier Sprint is putting Marcelo Claure in place as the company's new president and CEO, effective August 11. He will replace Dan Hesse, president and CEO since December 2007.
Claure, 43, had been a member of Sprint's Board of Directors since January of this year. His first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint's network and to oversee the effort to maintain and launch attractive and competitive offers and plans in the marketplace.
He is the founder and CEO of Brightstar Corporation, building the company from its inception in 1997 as a small Miami-based distributor into world's largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services to the wireless industry. Under Claure's leadership Brightstar achieved $10.5 billion in gross revenue in 2013. He is the recipient of many awards for entrepreneurship and his contributions as a CEO.
"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. 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," said Son.
Claure said, "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."
What both of these statements say between the lines is that SoftBank's recent decision to give up on the shiny object that was the anticipated Sprint-T-Mobile merger is off the table for now, that like MacArthur, it shall return.
SoftBank determined that the merger would, in the end, face too many regulatory hurdles to take place.
Sprint will now have to go it alone, having only experienced its first profitable quarter earlier this year after six consecutive years of losses. One of Claure's first tasks is to complete a nationwide network upgrade to 4G that has taken too long and led to the loss of thousands of Sprint subscribers.
Claure will resign as CEO of Brightstar on August 11. SoftBank will buy out Claure's 42 percent ownership stake in Brightstar, which will be a windfall in the neighborhood of $900 million for him. This will also give SoftBank complete ownership of Brightstar.