CEO of Sprint Nextel steps down

The board of Sprint Nextel, disappointed with weak financial results, pushed out chairman and CEO Gary Forsee this week, just as the company forecast weaker financial results and a larger subscriber loss for the current quarter than it had seen earlier, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Forsee orchestrated Sprint's troublesome 2005 takeover of Nextel and more recently championed a largely untried wireless technology, taking a bet that the fast data downloads possible with WiMAX will leapfrog Sprint Nextel over its bigger competitors.

'It is the right time to put in place new leadership to move the company forward in improving its performance and realizing corporate objectives,' board member Irvine Hockaday, quoted by the report, said.

The board said it was seeking a replacement for Forsee, who was also president.

In the meantime, Director James Hance Jr. will be acting nonexecutive chairman, and CFOPaul Saleh will serve as acting CEO, the report said.

Sprint announced that it expects to report a net loss of approximately 337,000 monthly subscribers in the third quarter, the report said.

And it expects its operating income, excluding some items, to fall below the previously forecast range $11 billion to $11.5 billion, it added.

Revenue is expected to fall below the earlier forecast of $41 billion to $42 billion.

Forsee's departure confirms newspaper articles, citing anonymous sources, that it was imminent. USA Today reported that Sprint's board, spurred by disappointing second-quarter earnings, had decided to speed up efforts to replace Forsee after The Wall Street Journal publicized its search for a replacement, the report further said.