Jorge R. Perez
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.