Hesse to take helm at Sprint

Sprint Nextel has tapped Dan Hesse to be its new president and CEO, replacing Gary Forsee who stepped down from the helm in October.

Hesse, who has been chairman, president and CEO of Embarq since its inception in 2006, is no stranger to the wireless industry. He spent 23 years at AT&T, including serving as president and CEO of AT&T Wireless Services from 1997 to 2000. During that time, he is credited for convincing senior AT&T management to support AT&T Wireless' Digital One Rate plan. This plan was the first in the wireless industry to bundle roaming and long distance fees into a flat-rate airtime package for consumers. Digital One Rate was a huge marketing success. Other nationwide operators copied the Digital One Rate plan, which caused demand for wireless services to skyrocket.

Hesse will have his hands full turning Sprint around. The firm has struggled with its 2005 merger with Nextel and has been losing iDEN customers at an alarming rate. Also in question is the firm's WiMAX plans. Sprint's deal with Clearwire fell through and some see the WiMAX business case as being risky.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the Sprint board members are hoping that Hesse will consolidate the company's operations in Kansas City, which could potentially save the firm lots of money. 

For more:
- see this press release
- see this WSJ article, for more details. (sub req.) 

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