SoftBank CEO Says Sprint Must Change ‘Loser’ Mindset

A Sprint Store in Omaha, Neb. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

SoftBank Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son wrote in a column that Sprint Corp., which his Japanese company purchased in July, “has gotten used to being a loser.”

“It is perpetually stuck in third or fourth place in the U.S. telecommunications market,” the 56-year-old tech tycoon wrote in the Nikkei Asian Review. “Some say the poor quality of its networks explains its position. This kind of excuse keeps Sprint from breaking the vicious cycle in which it is caught. There is a need for a change in mindset.”

The January column largely focuses on Son’s experience leading other companies in the United States, and the mistakes he made in not providing enough oversight. By leaving U.S. executives “to their own devices,” Son said he was more an investor than leader. The hands-off approach, he wrote, eventually failed to produce the growth he wanted. As a result, Son’s now employing his “strong resolve” to lead Sprint.

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