If you keep up with carrier news, you likely already know that Sprint hasn’t been having the most wonderful time lately, even deciding they will most likely sit out the incredibly important FCC auction of low-band 600MHz spectrum. With a bailout from parent company Softbank nowhere in site, cuts needed to be made somewhere. Since new network initiatives are in place to keep the company relevant and competitive, cutting funding for network buildout would likely be corporate suicide. These budget cuts will obviously result in layoffs, but CEO Marcelo Claure hasn’t been very clear on how many jobs will be affected. What has been made clear is that, in order to keep a passable level of customer service despite the layoffs, Sprint will be doing some restructuring of their customer service and sales teams with more of a focus on regional unification rather than different teams for different types of customers.
Right now, Sprint has different teams for large businesses, small businesses, postpaid customers and prepaid customers, including through their MNVOs Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. With the new “One Sprint” initiative, teams will instead be divided into regions, breaking up the United States into four areas with nineteen key markets a pop, with each of those segments having their own head honcho directing all the action going on within their sphere. Sprint is looking to cut around $2 billion in costs next year, so it’s not hard to imagine a few thousand jobs going down the tubes in this restructuring. Whether this new structure will be permanent or will only last until Sprint sees better days has not been stated. The new approach was tested on a small scale in Chicago and Claure was quite pleased with how it turned out, prompting him to design a nationwide version to work around the incoming budget cuts.
Tracy Nolan, leader of the Chicago effort and the market in Wisconsin, will help to oversee the shift to the new structure while continuing to oversee his designated markets. In addition, two new high-level execs will be coming on board to help with the process. Jay Spaulding, who will be moving to a new mystery role, will be replaced by AMC Theatres alumni Christina Sternberg as chief of staff directly under Claure. The new senior VP of supply chain will be Ramon Colomina of Softbank and Brightstar fame, who will also be playing the role of chief procurement officer for a while. The new structure may take a bit to catch on, but Claure is hoping customers won’t end up with much to gripe about once it’s all said and done.