Sprint’s Boss Promises Increased Ethnic Diversity

July 14, 2015 - Written By David Steele

Sprint’s Chief Executive Officer, Marcelo Claure, said on Monday that his ambition is to have one third of Sprint’s employees and management to be of Hispanic or African-American descent, during an address to the National Council of La Raza’s national convention in Kansas City. Marcelo is a Bolivian immigrant to the United States said this one the matter: “I have made it a very clear point that I want one-third of our employees and our management team to be Hispanic or of African-American descent. It’s not because we need to fill a quota. It’s because I’m certain that we will understand the needs of our customers better.” More than one-third of Sprint’s customers are either of Hispanic or African-American descent and the business had around 31,000 employees at the end of March 2015.

During his speech, Marcelo said: “I want to prove that we Hispanics are as capable as anybody else to lead a major corporation. I also know that if I fail, the journey will be much harder for those who follow.” He explained that the opportunity to demonstrate Hispanic capability was one of the main reasons he took the job at Sprint and that it was “the one that keeps me full of energy and hope.” Finally, he offered his audience to become Sprint customers to help in his success. A Sprint spokeswoman said that Marcelo’s comment reflected his vision for the company’s workforce to better understand its customer base rather than specific hiring goals of a policy. She did not have a report of the percentage split of Sprint’s employees or management team between Hispanic and African-American descent or how this has changed after Marcelo’s deliberate outreach into the Hispanic community after his appointment. He has appeared in adverts speaking in Spanish with a message directed as the Hispanic community.

It appears that Marcelo’s comments caught Sprint’s public relations team rather on the hop and we perhaps aimed at raising the businesses’ profile with the potential next President of the United States of America in the room, which could be related with the rumbling rumors that Sprint may still be interested in pursuing a merger with rival carrier T-Mobile US. The current FCC, Federal Communications Commission, had made it clear that they preferred to have four national carriers and a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US would not be supported. As such, Sprint has never formally sought approval for such a merger. However, the next president could change the FCC’s members and this in turn might change the agency’s outlook of a potential merger between the third and fourth largest US carriers.