OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint Corp (NYSE: S) today announced that its Board of Directors has elevated Marcelo Claure to Executive Chairman, and appointed Michel Combes to the role of Chief Executive Officer. In their new roles, Claure and Combes will collaborate on the continued execution of Sprint's strategy as well as its planned combination with T-Mobile. Claure, who has served as CEO since 2014, will remain a part of the Sprint senior management team. The transition is expected to occur on or before May 31, 2018.
"Marcelo has done a remarkable job of turning around the Sprint brand and business, driving enhanced network performance, strong subscriber growth and significant cost reductions leading to the best financial results in Sprint's history," said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. "Marcelo has also positioned Sprint as a leader in the race to 5G, which promises to revolutionize the communications industry. He will continue to guide Sprint's strategy and momentum as Executive Chairman through a successful closing with T-Mobile."
"Michel Combes is a proven industry veteran and the right executive to lead the next phase of our transformation," said Mr. Claure. "Michel's tremendous leadership and management skills and his 25 years of experience will be invaluable as we continue the subscriber and financial momentum we have."
In connection with these changes, Sprint has initiated a search for a new Chief Financial Officer. The Company will consider internal and external candidates.
Separately, SoftBank Group Corp. today announced that Marcelo Claure will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank Group Corp. and Chief Executive Officer at SoftBank Group International. Among his other duties, Claure will continue to oversee SoftBank's investment in Sprint and the combined Sprint / T-Mobile company following the closing of the companies' pending merger. Claure will also be responsible for creating new opportunities and potential collaboration between Sprint and SoftBank's portfolio companies in IoT, automation and artificial intelligence, all areas where SoftBank is actively investing. This will become increasingly important as Sprint and T-Mobile together move aggressively to deploy America's first and leading 5G network.
As previously announced, both Marcelo Claure and Masayoshi Son will join the Board of Directors of the newly formed company following the close of the proposed merger with T-Mobile.
Marcelo Claure is currently CEO of Sprint, a member of the Board of Directors of SoftBank Group Corp, a member of the Board of Directors of Arm, and Chairman of CTIA – The Wireless Association. Since joining Sprint in August 2014, Claure has led the Company's significant turnaround, including rejuvenating the Company culture and brand and positioning the Company as a leader in the race to 5G. Sprint has dramatically improved its products and services and is increasingly garnering top awards from third-party experts – including Nielsen, Ookla and RootMetrics – for network reliability, speed, text and call quality. Sprint has also reversed course from losing nearly 8,000 customers a day in 2014 to adding nearly 14,000 a day in the first fiscal quarter of 2017. Simultaneously, the Company has increased revenue, eliminated billions of dollars in costs, delivered the largest operating income of the last 10 years and once again generated free cash flow. Prior to Sprint, Claure started his first business – a small retailer of wireless phones – in 1994 and, in 1997, founded Brightstar, which he transformed from a small, Miami-based wireless distributor into the world's largest global wireless distribution and services company with revenues exceeding $10 billion and a presence in more than 50 countries. In 2014, Claure partnered with David Beckham and Simon Fuller to launch Miami Beckham United, a venture to establish a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami. He also currently owns BAISA, which operates Club Bolivar, Bolivia's most popular and successful soccer team in national and international competition. Claure is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a member of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was among 42 individuals selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of the "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America" initiative recognizing notable contributions to the progress of our society. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance in 1993 and an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Bentley University in Massachusetts.
Michel Combes is currently President and CFO of Sprint and a member of the Sprint Board of Directors, with more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunication industry. Prior to joining Sprint in January 2018, Combes was CEO – and previously chief operating officer – of Altice, as well as chairman and CEO of SFR Group and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. Previously, Combes has served as CEO of Vodafone Europe, chairman and CEO of TDF Group, as well as chief financial officer and senior executive vice president of France Telecom. Combes is a graduate of École Polytechnique and Télécom ParisTech.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.6 million connections as of March 31, 2018 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint's legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com orwww.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.