AT&T names John Dwyer Cricket's new chief, Van Buskirk to head Northeast Region

AT&T (NYSE: T) announced that Jennifer Van Buskirk will be replaced by John Dwyer as the new president of Cricket Wireless, the prepaid business that AT&T acquired from Leap Wireless early last year. Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T's mobility business, said Van Buskirk would move to AT&T's Northeast Region as the president of that business, helping to sell AT&T's postpaid products and services in that area.

"John brings a wealth of experience and an unrelenting focus on customer satisfaction to everything he does, and we're excited to have him join the Cricket brand," Lurie said in a release. "He will lead a nationwide team delivering simplicity, reliability and value to millions more customers seeking premium prepaid without compromise."

AT&T said Dwyer most recently led AT&T's customer experience efforts. Dwyer previously held leadership roles at the now-defunct Cingular Wireless and Pacific Bell Mobile Services.

Van Buskirk -- a 2015 FierceWireless Woman in Wireless -- took over Cricket following AT&T's $1.2 billion acquisition of Leap. During her tenure, she merged AT&T's existing prepaid brand, Aio Wireless, with Cricket. She also directed the recently completed shutdown of Leap's legacy CDMA network as well as a refresh of Cricket's rate plans, an expansion of Cricket's distribution area and the sale of parts of Leap's Muve Music offering to Deezer.

Earlier this year, AT&T's John Stephens said Cricket counted more than 5 million customers -- a notable increase from the 4.55 million Cricket counted at the end of 2013.

Dwyer is taking over Cricket as AT&T appears to be putting more emphasis on the brand. For example, in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday, Cricket launched a new customer rewards program and also cut prices on top Samsung smartphones.

In the third quarter, AT&T reported that it added a whopping 466,000 prepaid voice subscribers -- a reversal of the loss the carrier reported in the year-ago quarter -- that AT&T attributed to the success of its Cricket and our GoPhone brands. The carrier also said it is seeing increasing revenues from its Cricket smartphone customers: Specifically, the carrier said average revenue per user from its Cricket smartphone users was nearly $10 higher than its postpaid feature phone ARPU losses during the third quarter.

For more:
- see this Cricket release
- see this Phone Scoop article

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