Sprint Nextel has new chairman

US wireless carrier Sprint Nextel named its president and CEO, Gary D. Forsee, to serve as chairman, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Forsee replaces Tim Donahue, who retires as executive chairman at the end of this month.

The company, based in Reston with operational headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., announced Donahue's departure in October. He was chief executive of Nextel Communications before it was acquired by Sprint last year, the report said.

Forsee has served as president and CEO of Sprint Nextel since the combined company's creation in August 2005. Before that, he was the CEO and chairman of Sprint.

This is the second job title Forsee will have taken on within six months. He assumed the duties of COO Len Lauer after Lauer stepped down in August, following a disappointing second quarter.

Sprint has struggled since it acquired Nextel last year as transition issues, signal quality problems and a poorly received marketing strategy has sent customers flocking to both its larger competitors, Verizon Wireless and Cingluar Wireless, as well as smaller carrier T-Mobile.

Company officials have estimated they will continue to attract smaller numbers of subscribers well into next year as they try to weed out poor credit risks and other low-paying customers, the report further said.