Latest Sprint news is great for Dan Hesse, chilling for Overland Park headquarters

03/08/2014 6:40 PM

03/08/2014 6:40 PM

The latest news from Sprint paints a bright picture for CEO Dan Hesse. He recorded a whopping $49 million in total compensation

in 2013.

However, more signs of concern are emerging about the future of the Overland Park-based Sprint headquarters.

Start with the chilling fact that, just weeks ago, the

company announced that companywide layoffs

would occur in 2014. Sprint already had fallen from about 40,000 total employees in early 2013 to 38,000 early this year. Around 7,000 are employed in the Kansas City area.

No one is saying the sprawling suburban complex is going to close or be radically reduced anytime soon.

However, it’s becoming clearer that the new Sprint chairman, Softbank’s tough-talking founder Masayoshi Son, is being aggressive in making sure the Americans who have been running Sprint — including Hesse — know Son is in control now.

One big sign,

as noted in this Star story about the departure of two top executives

: An industry consultant said SoftBank’s offices in Silicon Valley could “increasingly become the center of gravity” for Sprint.

The consultant, Berge Ayvazian at Heavyreading.com, was paraphrased as saying “Son and other Japanese officials don’t relish frequent trips to Sprint’s Overland Park headquarters.”

Ouch.

Given the size and influence of Sprint in Overland Park and the entire region, we need to be watching very closely every pronouncement by Masayoshi Son from here on out.

Hesse’s recent record pay day is good news for one person at Sprint.

However, the fact that thousands of other Sprint employees still face some turbulent futures — especially at the Overland Park headquarters — deserves plenty of attention in the coming months.

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