Exclusive: Sprint to Name Brightstar’s Marcelo Claure as CEO

Marcelo Claure

Jorge R. Perez

Mobile

Sprint plans to name Marcelo Claure, one of its board members and head of wireless distributor Brightstar, as its new CEO, Re/code has learned from a number of sources.

Japan’s SoftBank, which owns a controlling stake in Sprint, also acquired a majority stake in Brightstar last year. Claure, the founder of Brightstar, owns the remainder of the company, which controls billions of dollars in cellular gear purchases each year.

A Sprint representative declined to comment.

Claure joined Sprint’s board in January. In addition to his remaining stake in Brightstar, Claure also owns the Bolivian soccer team Bolivar.

Re/code reported earlier on Tuesday that Sprint plans to announce a replacement for current Sprint CEO Dan Hesse as soon as tomorrow. The company is also ending its bid — at least for now — to try to acquire rival T-Mobile US.

Claure will have his hands full in taking the reins at Sprint, which has been bleeding subscribers amid competition from larger rivals AT&T and Verizon as well as a resurgent T-Mobile.

Sprint has also faced challenges upgrading its network, trailing its rivals in building out its latest-generation LTE network.

With regulators frowning on a merger with T-Mobile — or even joint bidding on spectrum — Sprint needs a Plan B and quick.