Sprint’s head of strategic planning to leave

Sprint Nextel Corp. said Wednesday that its president of strategic planning and initiatives will leave the Overland Park-based wireless carrier at the end of September.

Keith Cowan, who joined Sprint in mid-2007, was responsible for not only strategic planning but also mergers, acquisitions and alliances. He has remained a resident of Atlanta and commuted to Overland Park.

A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans for handling his duties after Sept. 30 or to elaborate on Cowan’s reason for leaving.

Chief executive Dan Hesse has said that the company would consider potential partnering opportunities or other types of transactions with other companies.

Management reportedly had pitched the idea of bidding for smaller rival MetroPCS Communications Inc. in February, but the plan was rejected by Sprint’s board. Sprint officials have not discussed the unconfirmed reports.

Before joining Sprint, Cowan was head of strategic planning at Genuine Parts Co. Before that he was with BellSouth.

Sprint reported Cowan’s planned departure in a one-sentence filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.