While there have been rumors for weeks, Sprint has made it official; Gary Forsee is out at Sprint. The company just announced that Forsee will leave both as Chairman and CEO. Both positions will be replaced by existing executives in an active capacity, while the company re-organizes its leadership, and continues its search for a replacement.
Gary Forsee has been under fire for months for lackluster performance, ranging from customer adds, down to advertising. The company has constantly switched back and forth, embracing and then withdrawing from the use of the Nextel name and associated brands (such as Direct Connect). These actions are seen as the root cause of many Nextel customers leaving Sprint, rather than migrating to PCS or PowerSource phones. While Sprint has formulated a logical PTT forward migration path, it has seen as being too little too late in the marketplace.
In addition, Sprint’s WiMAX option is now seen as questionable, despite large support from Intel and Motorola, the company lacks a clear path for existing phones to utilize WiMAX, and in addition, much of the industry embracing rival LTE technology.
Finally, and probably most damaging for Forsee, was the sum total of these effects; Sprint’s stock value remains dismally low, and it is constantly resisting rumors of buyout talks. No clear rivals are in-place for Forsee’s replacement, however, past fired-by-Forsee executives include Len Lauer, who was viewed as responsible for much of Sprint’s successes in pre-merger years. Many believe Lauer and others like Tim Donahue were forced out by Forsee in order to ensure that nobody inside the company could clearly replace him.
PhoneNews.com has editorialized against many of Forsee’s decisions since its inception.