Hockaday leaving Sprint Nextel board

Irvine Hockaday, Jr. told Sprint Nextel that he is resigning from the company's board of directors. Hockaday said he will not stand for re-election at the Sprint's annual shareholder's meeting May 12.

Hockaday, 72, has been on Sprint's board since 1997. His departure was entirely his decision, a company spokesman said, and not the result of any disagreement with the board. Hockaday is the former president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, and he currently serves on the boards of  Ford Motor Co., Estee Lauder and Crown Media.

Hockaday has been involved in recruiting almost all of Sprint's remaining board of directors. He also was involved in hiring Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Hockaday said Hesse was doing all he could to help the company during difficult times.

"Dan Hesse is absolutely the right person, doing every conceivable thing in a difficult environment that needs to be done," Hockaday said in an interview with the website SprintConnection. "I feel very positive about where the company is." Sprint has lost 2.6 million subscribers in the last two quarters.

Sprint did not name an immediate successor to fill Hockaday's seat on the board.

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