Sprint has always chased whatever seemed like the next big thing, whether that next big thing was the long-distance market, PCS spectrum, MVNOs, WiMAX, a wireline spin-off or even a company named Nextel. It's run through every one of these thresholds with an attitude bent on cutting-edge technology innovation and an ambition to be first. But, such moves can also seem reckless or ahead of their time, and Gary Forsee became the latest person to pay for those sins, stepping down from his post as chairman and CEO of Sprint Nextel late yesterday.
The company also announced that its third-quarter financial results wouldn't meet expectations. While much of the criticism of Forsee and Sprint is focusing on the company's underperforming ways since the Nextel merger, Sprint's spin-off of its local wireline properties is beginning to look just as significant.
In spinning off those assets, Sprint touted its new freedom and flexibility as a carrier unchained from wireline costs, expectations and line loss trends. But, as slow as the wireline business sometimes seems, the free-wheeling wireless industry has its own challenges as a chaotic, unpredictable and tremendously fast-moving marketplace at which pretty much every industry outsider feels like an expert. Aggressive ambition is often rewarded, but just as often crushed.
- Read the story in The New York Times
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