There are lots of shake ups coming out of Sprint this week. After hiring 6 new regional presidents – still about 6 more left to hire by the end of 2016 – and now it appears that their Vice President of Product has been replaced, after 25 years with the company. David Owens was VP of Product for three of those 25 years at the company, and it appears that the change was not his decision. As a memo was leaked, and it appears that Sprint wanted this change. Sprint has confirmed the change, and did commend Owens on his career at Sprint.
Sprint’s CMO, Roger Sole sent out an internal memo to Sprint employees that Owens would be leaving the company. Stating, “this was a very difficult decision, as are those being made about individuals at every level in the organization.” It’s currently unclear if this was part of the cost cutting measures that Sprint is working on and taking right now, or if there are other reasons that they are looking to move on from Owens. Sprint has been looking to cut around $2 billion from their costs. And as their CFO, Tarek Robbiati has noted, no one is safe. They are looking to cost anywhere they can. This move comes ahead of the layoffs that are looming at the nation’s fourth largest national carrier, and there are likely to be plenty more coming after this next round. We also found out today that Sprint has plans in place to cut about $1 billion in costs for their network, which will be put into place by the middle of 2016 at the latest.
Rod Millar will be taking over Owen’s role in the company. Millar joined the company in 2015 to assume responsibility of Sprint’s buyback program, and will now be in charge or product as well. It appears that Owens last day with the company will be January 29th, two weeks from today. During his nearly three-decade career with the company, Owens has been in charge of many facets of Sprint. Including product strategy, device selection, engineering and relationships with handset makers and much more. Sprint thanked Owens for all the hard work he’s put into the company over the last 25 years and noted that he helped Sprint “evolve into the wireless company it is today”.