As Claure’s named new Sprint CEO, Hesse bids farewell

Marcelo Claure, founder of Brightstar, was as announced as the new CEO of Sprint on Aug. 7, 2014. He is pictured here during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2012. | Courtesy of World Economics Forum/Flickr
Marcelo Claure founded Brightstar, which was acquired by SoftBank for $1.26 billion in 2013. | Courtesy of World Economics Forum/Flickr

Marcelo Claure will replace Dan Hesse as the president and CEO of Sprint Corp., the Overland Park, Kan.-based wireless carrier announced Wednesday in a press release. Claure is the founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., which is subsidiary of SoftBank Corp., the Tokyo-based telecom company that also owns Sprint. Claure joined the Sprint Board of Directors in January.

The Bolivian-born Claure, 43, founded Brightstar in 1997, and the company has since grown to become the largest specialized wireless distributor in the world.

He takes the reins from Hesse, who became Sprint’s chief executive in 2007. Hesse’s departure comes as Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, ends its months-long pursuit of T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. carrier.

Hesse sent Sprint employees a farewell email that was published in The Kansas City Star. In the letter, he reminisced about his time at the company and expressed confidence in Claure. Hesse’s note detailed the company’s successes in the past several years and touched on the “near death experience” Sprint had in 2008.

Hesse stressed that this is the next step in the company’s evolution. The departing CEO is poised to receive more than $40 million in severance pay, Bloomberg reports.

Claure said he is honored to lead Sprint and that he will work to make the company the country’s wireless carrier of choice.

As part of the arrangement, Claure will resign from Brightstar on Aug. 11. SoftBank will acquire his remaining interest in the company.

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