Sprint Says Good-Bye to CEO Hesse's Steady Fortitude
Sprint, unable to merge with T-Mobile but still ready for a shake-up, has said goodbye to Dan Hesse and welcomed Marcelo Claure as CEO.Among the rumors surrounding Sprint's anticipated merger with T-Mobile was news that the latter's boisterous ringleader and CEO, John Legere, would head the new combined company. Last week, amid news that the merger plans had fallen apart, Sprint majority shareholder Softbank seemed to decide to stay true to its plan for a new CEO and announced that Marcelo Claure—the founder of device distributor Brightstar, of which Softbank purchased a majority share in January—would be replacing Dan Hesse. "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," Sprint Chairman and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement, offering what passed for acknowledgement that his merger plans had been put to rest. To the public, it may have seemed an abrupt goodbye to the man who, over his six-plus year tenure, hauled Sprint away from the edge of disaster and then saw it slip back in that direction.
"You have to remember where Sprint was when Hesse took the helm," Ken Hyers, director of Wireless Device Strategies at Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK. "Sprint was in substantial trouble. It was as though he was on a ship with multiple leaks, and the first few years he was just running around patching up leaks, just to keep things afloat. ... He had a really unenviable job at the time, just to keep that company alive."