Sprint Nextel lost another top level exec today. The company said Executive Chairman Tim Donahue, former Nextel CEO, will retire at the end of the year. He is the second high-ranking exec to plan a departure in recent months, and follows the exit of COO Len Lauer. Some had predicted Donahue to take a bigger role with the departure of Lauer, and Donahue’s retirement is sooner than expected. (Executive exit scores are tied at Sprint 1, Nextel 1)
The news isn’t good for the third largest wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, which missed earnings recently and has seen its shares fall 32% since April. Sprint’s difficult time could be a indicator of the tough market ahead for the mobile industry. A UBS report says that Sprint Nextel’s troubles could continue for some time:
We believe the company [Sprint Nextel] faces a number of serious issues that will take time to correct and do not expect to see tangible signs of improvement in the fundamentals until mid-2007. . . Specifically, we believe churn at Sprint will increase in the second half of 2006 and remain high into mid-2007.
Guess, now is a good time for Donahue to leave!