Kansas City, meet Masayoshi Son.
The new chairman of Sprint Corp. recently and bluntly challenged the leadership capabilities of the nation’s third largest wireless carrier.
“This is why I sometimes yell at Sprint executives,” the Tokyo businessman told an Asian publication. He said Sprint’s advertising was “not cost effective. This made me quite angry.” And he added, “Sprint has gotten used to being a loser.”
Some local public relations officials told The Star that Son shouldn’t have been so open.
Yet give Son some credit: He talked like a man who has invested a lot of money — $24.6 billion so far — to grab an 80 percent stake in Sprint and to improve its finances.
Beyond that, Son’s challenges and hopes for improvement at Sprint aren’t out of line. He wants to see positive results, which could be measured in more customers and higher revenues. He’d probably like to see Sprint not lagging Verizon and AT&T so often in the public’s perception of service quality.
The Kansas City area has a big stake in what Son thinks and how Sprint performs.
Son said he’s over his previous belief that “Japanese owners should not interfere too much” in managing U.S. companies they control. From his recent remarks, that should be obvious to everyone at Sprint now.