Marcelo Claure officially takes the helm of Sprint Corp. today looking to steady a ship that has endured consistent decreases in subscribers over the last few quarters and saw a sharp decline in its stock price in recent days.
Outsiders say Claure, introduced last week as the new CEO of the Overland Park, Kan.-based wireless carrier, will focus on attracting new customers while improving the company’s financial performance and easing stockholders’ concerns after Sprint shares tumbled 24 percent last week.
That customer count is of particular concern for Sprint. The No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier has lost ground to No. 4 carrier and onetime acquisition target T-Mobile US Inc. in recent months. At last check, Sprint had about 54.6 million wireless customers, compared to 50.5 million for T-Mobile. But Sprint’s subscriber lead over T-Mobile was three times as large 18 months ago.
As Claure looks to reverse that trend, signs point to an impending price war. Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, Sprint’s Tokyo-based parent company, said Friday that “price competition will likely heat up.”