Sprint Loses Exec Leading 4G

In the past week, we've seen high-profile executives from HP and Apple leave their companies. Now, we've gotten word that Sprint will also be losing one of its top product development veterans. Earlier this week, a spokeswoman from Sprint confirmed that Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product and technology development, will be leaving Sprint on August 16.

Packingham has worked for Sprint since 1999. He is leaving Sprint to become the CEO of another venture which is based out of Kansas City, Mo. Further details have not been released.

Over the past three years, Sprint has struggled to compete in the wireless market and has lost subscribers ever since it acquired Nextel in 2005. In the most recent quarter, however, things turned around and Sprint gained wireless subscribers.

In an effort to turn things around, Sprint has put its resources into building up a faster, 4G wireless network. Packingham was responsible for leading the group that launched the company's first 4G phone, the HTC EVO 4G. His group also recently announced a second 4G phone, the Samsung Epic. The Epic is one of Samsung's high-end Galaxy S-class phones. It sets itself apart from other smartphones by offering a slide-out keyboard and 4G connectivity.

While at Sprint, Packingham also worked with outside software developers that make apps for Sprint smartphones. Spokeswoman Jennifer Walsh Kiefer said Sprint does not intend to fill Packingham's exact position. Instead, Fared Adib, vice president of product development, and Steve Elfman, President, Network Operations and Wholesale, will continue to work on product development. The technology development team will report to Elfman.

Sprint will also lose another major executive, Dan Schulman, on August 23. Schulman runs the company's prepaid business. He is leaving to take a position at American Express. A third key executive, Chief Financial Officer Robert Brust, is set to retire next year.

With these three major executives set to leave the company, we hope Sprint has a plan to fill the gaps and stay competitive in the market. Whether the wireless carrier will pull from its existing team or hire new talent remains to be seen.