Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) picked Qwest Communications CFO Joseph Euteneuer to be its new CFO, confirming rumors from earlier this year. Euteneuer will succeed Bob Brust, who is retiring.
The nation's No. 3 carrier said Euteneuer, 55, will remain at Qwest until Qwest's merger with CenturyLink is completed; the merger is expected to close sometime in the first half of 2011. Brust, 67, will remain CFO at Sprint until then.
Before his position at Qwest, Euteneuer was executive vice president and CFO of XM Satellite Radio Holdings from 2002 until September 2008 after it merged with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Prior to joining XM, Euteneuer held various management positions at Comcast and its subsidiary, Broadnet Europe.
In November, the the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint had settled on Euteneuer as its top choice but that the transition was being complicated by the Qwest-CenturyLink merger.
The transition to a new finance chief comes at a critical time for Sprint's finances and strategic financial decisions. Sprint had $4.7 billion of cash on hand at the end of the third quarter, but has $1.65 billion in debt due in January and $2.75 billion in 2012. Sprint also announced earlier this month that it had selected vendor partners for its network modernization project, which will cost $4 billion to $5 billion, and is expected to take three to five years to complete.
Additionally, Sprint also is grappling with whether to provide additional financing to Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), in which it holds a 54 percent stake. Sprint said this month that it has no plans to acquire Clearwire. Sprint said it has not yet decided whether to exercise its rights to buy up to $760 million in convertible bonds; it has until Jan. 2 to do so.
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