Sprint CEO Dan Hesse Replaced By Marcelo Claure, Now Tasked With Shutting Up T-Mobile’s Legere

Many suspected that Sprint would be left for dead years ago, but in 2007, a CEO named Dan Hesse stepped in and made a number of moves that ended up reviving Sprint. While the company never quite thrived the way that its primary rivals did, Sprint embraced 4G (albeit with WiMAX at first), pursued unlimited data, ushered in innovative payment options, and made itself respectable once more.

Those moves weren't enough to keep Hesse from being replaced this month, though. After a proposed Sprint merger with T-Mobile fell through (which would've likely seen T-Mobile CEO John Legere take over as CEO), Sprint and its parent Softbank decided to install a new CEO anyway. That man is Marcelo Claure, and he'll take the helm at Sprint during a time when mobile competition is fierce and sales patterns are shifting in the U.S. market. Claure is the founder and CEO of Brightstar, which just so happens to be a subsidiary of Softbank. According to Sprint: "As President and CEO, Claure’s first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint’s network by leveraging its strong spectrum holdings as well as ensuring that Sprint always maintains truly competitive offers in the marketplace."

In a way, that also means that he has to overcome the noise being made by Legere and T-Mobile, which is the one carrier that's seeing massive growth by upending notions about what it means to be a mobile carrier. Sprint's Framily plans and other options have paled in comparison to T-Mobile's free test drive, free international data, and super low-cost calling plans.

It's important to remember that Hesse brought Sprint to a place where it could at least have the opportunity to revel. Said the outgoing CEO: "I’m proud of the resilience of Sprint’s people during a difficult transformation and I’m optimistic about how they will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future. It’s been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than six-and-a-half years. Marcelo has been a great addition to Sprint’s Board and his entrepreneurial background, business savvy, industry experience and strong relationship with Masayoshi Son make Marcelo an excellent choice to lead Sprint going forward."

It remains to be seen if Claure will mimic Legere, but he'd be wise to make bold moves sooner rather than later.