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Hesse Factor

Hesse continues to make positive moves. I've given him kudos in the past for going public with the customer care woes in the Business Week article. I believe it was a good move for him to personally star in current television ads. It seems that Hesse understands that the challenges he has are both internal and external. Most recently, he added Steven Elfman as President - Network Operations and Wholesale.

It's been a couple months since Hesse's joined the company. He's had a chance to make initial assessments. At this point, it doesn't matter whether it was part of the grand plan coming in or something decided after coming on board; Hesse has decided that he needs help. Elfman is part of Hesse's "army" having worked for him at Terabeam and AT&T Wireless. Elfman is a trusted, competent and loyal executive from Hesse's past.

There are three interesting parts to the announcement:

1. President Wholesale reporting to a President (Patterson to Elfman)

2. Chief Network Officer reporting to a President (Walker to Elfman)

3. Product Development and Tech Dev now reporting to Elfman

But for Marketing and Customer Care, Elfman is essentially a COO. Up to now and in the absence for several months of an official COO, Patterson and Walker reported to the CEO. It will be interesting to see in the future if and how these peer to peer reporting relationships are resolved. In addition, with Tech Dev reporting to Elfman, there is an open question as to where the CTO reports. Previously, the CTO reported to the Chief Strategy person that deposed CEO Forsee brought in.

The bottom once again is that Dan Hesse appears to be focused and decisive, and continues to earn positive marks for his leadership, regardless of the final outcome. [1]

  1. http://sonicblues.typepad.com/ektan/2008/03/sprint-nextel-2.htm
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