Sprint’s Günther Ottendorfer, COO of technology, leaving company

Sprint’s Günther Ottendorfer
Günther Ottendorfer often represented Sprint at various press and industry events.

Sprint announced that Günther Ottendorfer, the company’s COO of technology, is leaving the company in December “to join his family in Austria and pursue other opportunities.”

“We thank him for his leadership and dedication. He will be missed and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor,” the company said in a statement.

Sprint said that the company’s network, technology and product development organizations will be led by John Saw, who remains as Sprint’s CTO reporting to CEO Marcelo Claure.

Ottendorfer has been Sprint’s most visible network proponent, often speaking at press and trade show events.

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The timing of Ottendorfer’s departure is noteworthy considering it comes just a few days after SoftBank chief executive and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son said he would increase SoftBank’s stake in Sprint from 83% to up to 85%, and concurrently said he would roughly triple Sprint’s capex to $5-6 billion. That action came days after merger talks collapsed between Sprint and T-Mobile.

Günther Ottendorfer was named COO, Technology, at Sprint in August 2015. He was responsible for overseeing the company’s network, technology and product development organizations, including related strategy, network operations and performance, as well as partnerships with network, technology and product vendors.

For his part, Sprint’s CTO Saw joined Clearwire as its second employee in 2003 and helped build the company’s WiMAX network. He moved to Sprint when Sprint acquired Clearwire in 2013.

Ottendorfer's departure appears to be relatively amicable. "Network is in excellent hands w/ my friend Dr. John Saw," he tweeted.

Article updated Nov. 20 with comments from Ottendorfer.