Sprint’s Ryan Sullivan wins 2019 top Rising Star in wireless

Ryan Sullivan, VP Product Engineering and Development, Sprint
Sprint's Ryan Sullivan.
Linda Hardesty editor's corner

The votes have been cast and the results are in: the 2019 FierceWireless Rising Star is Sprint’s Ryan Sullivan.

Last week we published “FierceWireless presents its class of 2019 Rising Stars,” listing 10 top executives on the rise in the wireless industry. The list included executives from some of the nation’s largest wireless carriers as well as those from top vendors and leading industry associations.

Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular particularly rallied their troops to vote for their top executives. But Sprint’s Ryan Sullivan ran away from the pack in the end, garnering 2,958 votes compared to T-Mobile’s Grant Castle with 1,460 and U.S. Cellular’s Mike Irizarry with 1,228.


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Ryan Sullivan leads Sprint’s effort to launch new smartphones that enable customers to move to the more efficient 5G networks. He earned his stripes by directing Sprint’s iPhone launch in 2011, and two years later the company put him in charge of all new devices the carrier launches. Sullivan carries every new Sprint phone as his personal device, switching phones roughly every two weeks. For each device he carries, he sends his team a punch list of issues and bugs he finds.

Here are the full results:

Rising Star vote

For those of you who voted, thanks so much for participating. And congratulations again to all of our 2019 Rising Stars.