Virgin Mobile will move its headquarters and hire more than 50 new employees as it continues to prepare for a relaunch of Sprint's prepaid wireless brand later this year.
Virgin has opted to relocate to a new location in Kansas City, Missouri, and the business is searching for "premier talent" across industries, including executive-level positions.
The location of the new office has yet to be determined, but construction is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
Virgin's headquarters are currently in Warren, New Jersey. The brand will now become neighbors with Sprint, which is headquartered in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.
"Our CEO, Marcelo Claure, continues to lead Sprint with more of a startup mentality," Dow Draper, who was recently appointed CEO of Virgin Mobile, said in a prepared release. "The latest example is carving Virgin Mobile USA out to act more independently, including the ability to experiment with new business models, as well as the opportunity to use different technology and service partners. We are a unique brand, and I look forward to building out our team with the best local and national talent to be part of our exciting new venture."
Sprint is retooling Virgin as competition in the prepaid market heats up against a backdrop of smartphone saturation in the U.S. Sprint lost a net 264,000 prepaid users during the most recent quarter, down significantly from the 546,000 net additions it posted in the prior year. Meanwhile, T-Mobile's MetroPCS and AT&T's Cricket have made huge gains, while Verizon has opted not to cater to the segment – at least not yet -- out of fear of cannibalizing its postpaid business.
Sprint has yet to disclose details about its plans for Virgin, although the carrier has said it will relaunch with "new, groundbreaking, best-in-class services."
"Kansas City has an emphasis on entrepreneurship and technology, especially in the downtown and crossroads areas, which fits exactly with the direction for the new Virgin Mobile," Draper said. "It is a vibrant place to live and work, giving us the ability to attract a world-class team with experience across multiple industries to become part of the global Virgin family."
- see this Sprint press release
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