Who knew Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has family at rival AT&T’s wireless operation?
It’s his cousin Ed. And it’s no corporate secret, but rather one of those small-world things.
Ed Claure is vice president of finance at AT&T Mobility, according to his LinkedIn page. He’s proud about knowing the other Claure too. On LinkedIn, he lists Sprint’s Claure as his “influencer.”
This family gem popped out late last month during the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual convention in Houston. Marcelo Claure was a featured speaker on a CEO panel discussion led by The Atlantic’s Washington editor at large, Steve Clemons.
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About 58 minutes into the event, Clemons asked Marcelo Claure about his cousin’s job at AT&T. Claure acknowledged that his cousin works at AT&T’s wireless operation. Neither mentioned the cousin by name.
“Does he hate you for all the things you’re doing that are cool with Sprint?” Clemons asked.
“No. What he says is that every time we launch one of our promotions, everybody turns around and looks at him,” Claure said of his cousin.
Ed Claure is a longtime AT&T employee and a wireless veteran, beginning with his Cingular Wireless job in 1996. Cingular and AT&T’s wireless operation combined in 2004.
AT&T and Sprint each declined to comment about Ed Claure.
At the Hispanic chamber session, Clemons also playfully asked whether antitrust officers stop by if the two meet up at Claure family gatherings.
“No. We try to avoid talking about business. We try,” Claure responded.
There were, of course, more meaningful questions: Marcelo Claure doesn’t like hiring quotas but believes in building the right environment so anyone can grow (about 32 minutes in), customers’ comments were behind Sprint’s recent iPhone Forever offer (53 minutes), the iPhone Forever deal works for Sprint financially (56 minutes), and he’s passionate about education as a way to lift the fortunes of millennials, Hispanics and anyone (1 hour 20 minutes).
Early in the video (16 minutes), Marcelo Claure brushed off Clemons’ comment he is a billionaire, a point the CEO has declined to discuss publicly in the past.
Clemons then surfaced another Marcelo Claure tidbit. He asked Claure what he would like to do if he stopped doing everything he’s doing now. It’s a question Claure more or less dodged at the end of a recent profile by The Star.
Claure’s answer in Houston was that after turning around Sprint and making it a success story, he would like to “go start my soccer team in Miami and just dedicate myself to that for a little while.”
Claure is a co-owner with soccer great David Beckham in Miami Beckham United, which is vying for a Major League Soccer franchise in the south Florida city.