Sprint: Turnaround in the U.S. Telecom Industry
Sprint Corporation, a major U.S. wireless carrier, had been losing customers and suffering financially since its merger with Nextel in 2005. Sprint was also ranked the lowest among major U.S. carriers in terms of network speed and data performance. But a new opportunity emerged when the SoftBank Group acquired Sprint in 2013. The new chief executive officer (CEO), appointed in August 2014, publicly gave himself three to five years to turn around this major telecommunication company. The new CEO had a plan; however, he faced many challenges. Sprint had national brand recognition, but customers demanded improvements in network quality and service reliability, and the turnaround plan needed to be implemented in a capital-intensive industry with a saturated market. The optimistic CEO admitted that he faced the biggest challenge of his career. Would he be successful in turning around Sprint's fortunes in this competitive industry? Won-Yong Oh is affiliated with University of Calgary.