SoftBank's Official Joins Sprint As Chief Strategy Officer

Sprint appointed one Yuriko Ishihara as its Chief Strategy Officer, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange (SEC) commission from last week that was picked up by the Kansas City Business Journal on Tuesday. The filing apparently doesn't detail Ishihara's exact job description, but the former official at SoftBank has now certainly joined the lines of Sprint's top executives. Ishihara worked at Sprint's parent company since 2003 and was serving as General Manager of Global Business responsible for Sprint for the last two years, a spokesman for the Overland Park, Kansas-based mobile service provider confirmed earlier this week. Regardless of Ishihara's new responsibilities at Sprint, the company's new executive is presumably well-acquainted with the firm's operations given his job history.

News of Sprint's latest executive appointment comes only two weeks before the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States is expected to post its Q4 2016 and full-year earnings release. Following the publication of its latest financial report, the Kansas-based mobile service provider will hold a traditional conference call with analysts and investors during which its top executives will discuss the company's recent performance and talk about future plans. Among other things, Sprint is expected to address concerns regarding its reportedly increasing debt as some industry watchers believe the company is currently too leveraged and is adding much more debt than equity on a quarterly basis. Regardless, the wireless carrier still has a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future, with recent surveys indicating its brand image is improving among all consumers in the country, which might translate into extra profits in the long term, some analysts believe.

Among other things, Sprint's upcoming financial report will also reveal the company's latest churn rates that some industry watchers are skeptical about given the increasingly competitive state of the market. Finally, the company is soon set to address rumors about its potential merger with T-Mobile, something that SoftBank was pursuing several years ago but was unable to realize its ambitions due to effectively being blocked from doing so by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the former Obama administration.

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