Former Sprint CEO discusses his legacy

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse speaks at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference in 2012. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Dan Hesse served as CEO from 2007 until early August. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Dan Hesse said during a KC Pulse event that he hopes his legacy as a business executive is defined as one that instilled integrity, honesty and perseverance. Succeeded by Marcelo Claure as Sprint’s CEO, Hesse was a popular executive at the Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier.

He said CR Magazine’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Lifetime Achievement Award is his most gratifying accolade, as it was issued on behalf of his peers. He added that identifying “what’s best” to do at a public company with more than 35,000 employees is a challenge, but he strove to lead honestly and with passion.

Hesse aimed to lead with a positive approach. When he took the CEO gig about seven years ago, Sprint was facing significant struggles. But instead of focusing on the negatives, Hesse led with determined focus and enthusiasm, hoping to inspire confidence that things would turn around for the carrier. “In my experience, when times are tough, the single most important quality for a leader to exhibit is optimism,” Hesse said.

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