Sprint CEO Claure Taps Former Partner Cano for New COO Role

  • Base salary set at $1.3 million for former Tech Data executive
  • Cano joins amid Claure’s attempt to turn around carrier

Sprint Corp. Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure appointed Nestor Cano to the newly created position of chief operating officer, hiring a former business associate as his top lieutenant at the wireless carrier.

Cano’s appointment is effective Feb. 2, the company said Tuesday in a statement. He’ll join the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier with a starting salary set at $1.3 million and an initial term of four years, according to a filing.

Since joining Sprint in 2014, Claure has been mounting a comeback attempt for the wireless carrier by offering cut-rate phone plans and reducing costs. After borrowing money and introducing promotions, last fiscal year Sprint turned in its first annual subscription increase in more than seven years. Cano will be responsible for cutting expenses further, Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint said.

Sprint, majority owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., is expected to cut $2 billion in operating costs in fiscal 2016, building on the $1.5 billion slashed the prior year, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence note.

Cano, 52, was formerly president of European operations at Tech Data Corp., a global distributor of technology products and services, and held several positions for other technology companies in Spain. Before joining Sprint, Claure ran another distributor, Brightstar Corp., which owned a joint venture with Tech Data in Europe that has since dissolved.

Claure has turned to his industry contacts in the past to make key hires at Sprint. Tarek Robbiati, who was named Sprint’s chief financial officer in 2015, was the former CEO of FlexiGroup Ltd., which had a partnership with Brightstar.

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