Sprint today announced that COO Len Lauer will leave the company, effective immediately. President and CEO Gary Forsee will take over the duties of Chief Operating Officer.
The brief press release appears to show a sharp split between Lauer and Forsee. Before the merger with Nextel, Lauer was Sprint’s President and COO while Forsee assumed the role of CEO and Chairman. Post-merger, Tim Donahue (formerly CEO of Nextel) assumed the Chairman position, while Gary Forsee took over the role of CEO.
This demoted Lauer to the position of only COO, however, at the time it was not considered a signfiicant shift. Lauer continued to have operational control over the CDMA side of the business, while Donahue and Forsee were working to properly absorb Nextel into the master Sprint brand. With that task completed, it is not clear if Lauer resigned, or was ousted from the number three wireless carrier.“Len has been an important part of the Sprint team for the past eight years and provided strong leadership and counsel. We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well,” said CEO (and now COO) Gary Forsee.
Further adding to the sudden departure is Len Lauer’s schedule. Lauer had made comitments to keynote the CTIA Wireless IT Expo next month, a role which would not have been taken presuming a planned departure.
Update: Since our reporting, Len Lauer has withdrawn from keynoting CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2006. He was not replaced on the keynote panel.