The Wall Street Journal, in a story based largely on anonymous sources, today paints a picture of a Sprint Nextel board of directors keeping close tabs on its CEO.The story
(subscription required) paints a picture of a corporate board still backing Dan Hesse as the company CEO, but unafraid to second guess him. The story describes the board as interested and involved in detail in the choices aimed at leading the Overland Park wireless carrier back to profitability.
It also says Hesse has been taking increasing heat from major shareholders, including at a Boston lunch to discuss the overhaul of its wireless network. There, the Journal says, the head of a pension plan heavily invested in Sprint voiced a lack of confidence in Sprint’s plans and directed sharp criticism at Hesse.
Hesse, the story said, has compared Sprint’s effort to move its ledger back to the black to Ernest Shackleton’s struggle to keep his crew from perishing in Antarctica a century ago. (Shackleton and his mates suffered terribly and survived. But they never came close to their goal of reaching the South Pole.)
And the article noted that a deal to acquire MetroPCS Communications was ultimately killed by Hesse’s board — a reflection of the ways management strategy has sometimes been at odds with the directors.