Marcelo Claure, a Sprint board member, will take over as CEO of the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, where he faces the task of charting a new course after the company scrapped plans to acquire T-Mobile.
Sprint’s announcement on Wednesday morning confirms a Tuesday Re/code report.
Claure, 43, is the founder and chief executive of Brightstar, a small Miami-based distributor that he built into a global business with $10.5 billion in revenue. SoftBank, the Japanese telecom that holds a controlling interest in Sprint, invested $1.26 billion last year to acquire a majority stake in Brightstar. Although he has a long track record working in the wireless business, he has never run a wireless carrier.
Update, 7 am PT: As Sprint’s new chief executive, Claure stands to collect a total compensation package valued at $29.75 million, according to regulatory filings. That includes an annual salary of $1.5 million, bonuses and stock. He also received a signing bonus of $500,000 and perks, including “limited” personal use of the company jet.
He succeeds Dan Hesse, who joined Sprint as president and CEO in December 2007, but who has struggled to hold on to subscribers during a period in which the carrier mounted an aggressive upgrade of its network.
“In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost-efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace,” Claure said in a statement. “While consolidating makes sense in the long term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint.”
Sprint positioned Claure as a rising star, citing his selection as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum.
“Marcelo is a successful entrepreneur who transformed a startup into a global telecommunications company,” Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son said in a statement. “He has the management experience, passion and drive to create the strongest network and offer the best products and services in the wireless industry.”
Claure will resign his position at Brightstar on Monday; SoftBank announced it will buy Claure’s remaining interest in the company.
“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.