Sprint to Create Four Regional Hubs, Cut Jobs in Overhaul

  • CEO Claure's turnaround plan includes unspecified job cuts
  • Carrier moving to `completely local decentralized model': CEO

Sprint Corp. is creating four regional offices and eliminating some jobs to focus on service quality and customer retention in 19 major U.S. markets, part of Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure’s efforts to turn around the struggling wireless carrier.

“For our colleagues who will be leaving, we will be sorry to see them go,” Claure said this week in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. “These are actions that we must take so that we can ensure the strength and long-term success of our company, and save thousands of other jobs.”

The moves will help Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint cut costs as Claure works to reverse a seven-year streak of subscriber losses. Sprint is the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier based on customers, trailing Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. With the help of offers like $1-a-month iPhone leases, the company has added users in the past few quarters.

Each of the four regions will have a president reporting directly to Claure, and in each region, a president will be assigned to key markets, according to the memo. Instead of separate teams for each sales channel, as in the current structure, teams will now be united, targeting Sprint’s entire customer base -- from pay-as-you-go mobile phone users to the more lucrative monthly subscribers, who tend to spend more on new devices and data service. 

“We are going to go from a centralized model that we have today to a completely local decentralized model,” Claure said Thursday in an interview. “You’ll see 19 Sprints. We are going to go fight in the local markets rather than one Sprint fighting from Overland Park.”

Dave Tovar, a spokesman for Sprint, couldn’t say how many jobs would be eliminated. The company is aiming to cut as much as $2.5 billion from its more than $20 billion in annual costs, and is looking in a range of areas, including roaming payments -- the money it pays other carriers to handle calls outside the reach of its network.