Who's got next at Sprint Nextel?

Sprint Nextel reportedly is looking to replace current CEO Gary Forsee. The Wall Street Journal and other media have reported on speculations about who's got game, with industry stalwarts like Dan Akerson, Andrew Sukawaty and Bill Morrow all being mentioned, so we'll add to the noise with our own list of realistic and unrealistic possibilities:

- Dan Hesse, currently chairman and CEO of Sprint Nextel spin-off Embarq. He was mentioned as a possible successor to Dick Notebaert at Qwest before the job went to Edward Mueller, so why not Sprint Nextel? Seriously though, Hesse has a strong telecom pedigree that includes AT&T Wireless, which makes him seem like strong fit to turn around an ailing wireless giant that still dabbles in wireline.

- Dick Notebaert, former chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications International. Sure he's "retired," like most CEOs retire occasionally until they come across an interesting new job. We think Dick is tanned, rested and ready for another run.

- Royce Holland, CEO of McLeodUSA. His company is getting acquired by fellow CLEC Paetec. Holland is long-time bucker of convention, and would be an interesting choice.

- Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple. OK, extremely unrealistic, but we're daring to dream that Apple, liking what it sees in the iPhone revolution, but wanting to smooth over some of the recent bumps (the price reduction flap, the hacking controversy) in future launches, would buy Sprint Nextel and move its whole cultural icon business over to a different carrier that already has its own spectrum and a new WiMAX network in the works.

- Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google. Again, crazy, but maybe we'll see who's really crazy. This would involve Google acquiring Sprint Nextel for no other reason than to stick it to Verizon Wireless.

Got any other ideas? Let's hear 'em

- Dan


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