Sprint confirmed to FierceWireless that Jim Hyde, the company’s president of affiliates and wholesale, is also leaving the company. Hyde joins Günther Ottendorfer, the company’s COO of technology, in exiting the nation’s fourth-largest wireless operator.
“We appreciate all of his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Sprint said in a statement to FierceWireless confirming Hyde’s departure.
Sprint hired Hyde in 2016 to take over its Prepaid Group. At that time, Sprint’s former prepaid chief Dow Draper moved over to head up Sprint’s Virgin Mobile prepaid business.
“As president of Prepaid and Wholesale Services, Hyde is responsible for developing and driving the prepaid strategy and business across the Boost Mobile and Sprint Prepaid platforms and the legacy Virgin Mobile business. He will also manage the relationships with Sprint’s Wholesale and Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) customers,” Sprint wrote in its 2016 release announcing Hyde’s hire.
Prepaid was removed from Hyde's purview amid the carrier's relaunch of its Virgin Mobile brand this year. In June, Sprint relaunched its Virgin brand by offering a year of unlimited data for $1 to users who buy an iPhone and port their number to the service—though, since then, Sprint has retained some Android offerings. Also in June, Sprint replaced its “Sprint Prepaid” brand with a new “Sprint Forward” prepaid brand that offers 4 GB of high-speed data for $40 per month or unlimited service for $60 per month.
Importantly, Hyde oversees Sprint's MVNO efforts. Sprint is perhaps the nation's most friendly carrier to MVNOs, and counts dozens of MVNOs operating on its network. Further, Sprint just this month announced that Altice, the nation's fourth largest cable operator, will launch an MVNO service on its network.
Before joining Sprint, Hyde was CEO, president and director of nTelos Wireless, Lumos Networks and was also CEO and managing director of T-Mobile UK.
The departures of Hyde and Ottendorfer come at a critical time for Sprint. During the past few weeks the company said it discontinued merger talks with T-Mobile and, just a few days later, the chief of SoftBank, Sprint’s parent company, promised to increase SoftBank’s stake in Sprint while concurrently raising the company’s capex from a low of $2 billion per year to as high as $6 billion per year.
Article updated Nov. 20 with new details from Sprint.