Sprint confirmed to FierceWireless that Ginger McClendon, the operator’s director for technology innovation and architecture, and strategy, planning and development, is no longer with the company. Her duties will be handled by other members of Ron Marquardt’s team; Marquardt remains the company’s VP of Technology.
According to a source familiar with the company’s plans, McClendon’s departure is not specifically part of Sprint’s ongoing round of 500 layoffs (though Sprint is also hiring in other areas). However, it was unclear whether McClendon left Sprint of her own accord or her position was cut by the company.
McClendon’s role was to direct Sprint’s long-term core and services technology strategy and architecture. Specifically, she guided the operator’s technology roadmaps for innovation and ecosystems, including for its 5G network rollout plans. The carrier has promised to launch mobile 5G services on its 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings on a nationwide basis in the first half of 2019.
McClendon was a longtime Sprint veteran, having held other positions in the carrier’s architecture department as well as in its backhaul and transport division. Previously she held management positions at Clearwire and Nextel. She represented Sprint at several public events.
The departure of McClendon comes amid a notable round of layoffs at Sprint. As reported by the Kansas City Business Journal, Sprint is cutting 500 jobs from its Overland Park, Kansas, headquarters. The company didn't provide the specific positions that will be cut, noting the layoffs will be completed in the next few weeks and the action will result in a smaller leadership team at Sprint. The company did say, though, that Sprint's front-line employees, including its retail and customer care workers, would not be affected.
Those layoffs are part of Sprint’s continued efforts to reduce its overall expenses. They also come after Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure made a range of organizational changes to Sprint’s management in November, actions that include reducing the number of his direct reports, redesigning the company’s offices, promoting some executives and letting others go.