Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is joining the board of directors of SoftBank Group Corp., the Tokyo-based company that is deciding what to do with its 80 percent of the Overland Park-based wireless company.
Claure became CEO of Sprint in August 2014 after SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son had suspended efforts to also acquire rival wireless carrier T-Mobile US. Son also is chairman of Sprint.
Son has said that he is now considering a sale of Sprint, purchase of another company, or merger and has identified a merger with T-Mobile as a “first priority” among many possibilities. T-Mobile’s chief financial officer separately called Sprint “a huge prize” and that talks between the companies “of course” would happen.
Merging Sprint and T-Mobile would create a rival much closer in customer counts to industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. A merger also would be expected to sharply cut expenses – including payrolls – perhaps generating savings of $30 billion.
As Sprint’s top executive, Claure makes trips to Tokyo and has welcomed SoftBank officials to Sprint’s headquarters campus as well.
Claure was nominated to replace SoftBank director Manabu Miyasaka, who is CEO of Yahoo Japan Corp.