Sprint (NYSE: S) is retrenching a bit following an exhausting year for the company, combining its consumer and business divisions in a move designed to save cash that also recognizes the nature of the modern smartphone buyer.
Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO, wrote a memo to employees Friday outlining the changes, which was obtained by Reuters. Four executives– Bob Johnson, president of the Consumer Services Group; Danny Bowman, president of integrated solutions; John Carney, senior vice president, consumer marketing; and Chris Rogers, senior vice president for corporate development and spectrum–will be leaving the company as Sprint’s sales and marketing groups contract.
“Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient,” Hesse wrote. Sprint has been forced to build a new 4G LTE network after betting its 4G strategy on WiMax and Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR), and also had to pay dearly in order to carry the iPhone 4S on its network for the first time in October. It also spent a significant amount of company resources successfully trying to kill AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.
There’s definitely some logic behind the reorganization, and Sprint’s welcome page for its Web site (pictured below) shows why. An awful lot of smartphone buyers are making personal purchases of smartphones that they also want to use for work, and businesses simply don’t provision mobile devices the way they used to before the “bring-your-own-device” policy became the standard (especially as the BlackBerry has waned).
But Sprint has been steadily losing money for years, and that needs to stop one way or another. The company has yet to comment further beyond the memo (conveniently posted by Reuters (NYSE: TRI) just as the stock market closed) so we don’t yet know how other employees will be affected.