Sprint Says CFO to Leave in New Executive Shake-Up

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-01-24

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel Corp said on Thursday Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh and two other top executives would leave the company in a new management shake-up as the No. 3 U.S. mobile service grapples with subscriber declines.

The announcement is the second major move in less than a week by Sprint's new Chief Executive Dan Hesse, who was appointed in December to stem the company's market share losses to bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Sprint shares rose 1.7 percent in pre-market trading from its New York Stock Exchange close of $8.71.

Saleh will leave the company on Friday, along with Chief Marketing Officer Tim Kelly and president of sales and distribution, Mark Angelino. Saleh had served as Sprint's acting CEO while it conducted a search for a permanent leader.

Last week, the company reported deeper than expected subscriber losses and said it would cut about 4,000 jobs as it lost ground to bigger rivals. The news sent Sprint shares down nearly 25 percent and raised fears of a wider slowdown in the U.S. wireless industry.

But AT&T reported on Thursday better-than-expected wireless subscriber results for the fourth quarter, adding 2.7 million net wireless customers compared with an average forecast of 1.9 million, based on four analysts contacted by Reuters.

Hesse said the company has no set time frame to fill the roles, but would name permanent replacements after a review of its overall strategy.

Sprint controller William Arendt will serve as acting CFO in the interim. John Garcia, senior vice president of product development, will be acting chief marketing officer and Paget Alves, regional president for sales and distribution, will be acting president of the sales and distribution division.

Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc. (Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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