Sprint ousts execs, merges its sales and marketing operations

The company streamlines its business and consumer arms, leading to the departure of four executives.

Sprint Nextel plans to streamline its operations and oust several executives in a move to simplify its business

The company will combine the sales and marketing duties for its business and consumer operations, a Sprint representative confirmed to CNET. The move will lead to departure of four key executives. Reuters earlier reported the news, citing a company memo.

By combining the operations, a Sprint representative said, the company will be better able to address the increasing overlap between consumer and corporate accounts. The merger will likely result in job cuts, although Sprint said it doesn't expect a large number of reductions.

"It's about making the business simpler, and not necessarily about cutting costs," said Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat. "We're not anticipating it will result in major job actions or store closings."

Still, the company is looking to save money as it undergoes an expensive plan to upgrade its network and move to 4G LTE service. At the same time, it has invested a lot in its deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to its customers. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said yesterday at an investor conference that he expects margin pressure for the next few years.

Simplifying the business would help alleviate some costs.

"As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred," CEO Dan Hesse said in a memo obtained by CNET. "We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units (consumer and business), and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations.

"We need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient."

The sales operations will be overseen by Paget Alves, the chief sales officer, while the marketing operations will be overseen by Bill Malloy, chief marketing officer. The machine-to-machine business, which deals with different connected devices, will go to Matt Carter, who already runs the wholesale and emerging solutions unit.

The changes will go into effect in early February.

Bob Johnson, president of the consumer services group, Danny Bowman, president of integrated solutions, John Carney, senior vice president of consumer marketing, and Chris Rogers, senior vice president of corporate development and spectrum, are leaving the company.

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