Sprint ‘Change’ Cuts COO

Sprint Nextel COO Len Lauer is
out. In a short statement, the company said Lauer’s departure was “effective immediately.”

Gary Forsee, Sprint’s president and CEO, will assume Lauer’s duties,
leaving the COO position unfilled, according to the company.

Sprint Nextel would neither confirm nor deny Lauer’s departure was
voluntary, though Sprint
Nextel spokesperson Leigh Horner told internetnews.com that the move was was part of “an organizational change.”

is the nation’s third-largest mobile carrier, behind Cingular and
Verizon .

Forsee said Lauer played “an important part of the Sprint team
for the past years.” Prior to becoming COO in 2003, Lauer was
president of Sprint’s consumer services and business divisions.

The change “was made as the company seeks to
accelerate the pace of our transition and improve operational
execution,” according to Sprint spokesperson David Gunasegaram.

Sprint’s CEO recently pointed to a company restructuring as one of
the steps the No. 3 mobile carrier will take to reverse slower-than-expected growth.

Sprint Nextel reported second-quarter results
indicating lower wireless income and a 5 percent drop in long-distance revenue.

The executive change won’t affect Sprint’s recently announced plans
to build a WiMAX network, investing with partners
up to $3 billion by 2008, according to a Sprint spokesperson.

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