Sprint taps new execs as it hopes to forge new identity

Sprint names Tarek Robbiati as its new chief financial officer and Gunther Ottendorfer its new chief operating officer, just the latest in a shake-up in the management ranks.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read

Sprint said on Monday that it had added two new key executives.

The nation's third-largest wireless carrier named Tarek Robbiati, formerly the CEO of financial services company FlexiGroup, as its chief financial officer. He replaces Joe Euteneuer, who will leave after an "orderly transition of responsibilities."

Sprint also named Gunther Ottendorfer chief operating officer. He replaces former SoftBank executive Junichi Miyakawa, who will move over as a senior technical advisor and serve as a link between Sprint and SoftBank. The company also promoted John Saw from chief network officer to chief technology officer. He will report to Ottendorfer.

It's the latest management shake-up at Sprint as the carrier hopes to carve out a new identity, which includes repairing the damage to its reputation caused by years of poor coverage. The moves are under the direction of CEO Marcelo Claure, who jumped into the company last year with a mission to turn its flagging fortunes around. Euteneuer's departure follows the loss of Chief Technology Officer Stephen Bye, who spent years wrestling with the company's network issues.

Robbiati brings with him some experience in the telecom industry, which may aid in Claure's mission to overhaul the company. He previously served as group managing director of Australian telecom giant Telstra International Group and chairman of CSL-NWM, a mobile operator in Hong Kong (and a unit of Telstra). While at CSL, Robbiati guided the company through its own mobile network transformation, and the company boasted about his ability to transform businesses.

Ottendorfer previously served as the chief technology officer for Telekom Austria Group, where he also led a number of major wireless network expansion and improvement projects, Sprint said.

Sprint is scheduled to report earnings on Tuesday.

Updated at 4:20 a.m. PT: To include the other executive changes.