Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure Joins SoftBank's Board

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Sprint President and Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure on Tuesday joined the Board of Directors of SoftBank Group, the parent company of the fourth largest mobile service provider in the United States. Claure was officially nominated for the position last month as part of SoftBanks's apparent efforts to restructure its leadership and give more control of the group to heads of its overseas businesses, with the Japanese conglomerate's shareholders confirming the nomination earlier this week at their 37th annual meeting in Tokyo. Claure said he was pleased with this turn of events but didn't specify whether his new role will affect his responsibilities and activities at Sprint.

Apart from Sprint's chief, SoftBank Groups's Board of Directors also added SoftBank Investment Advisors Rajeev Misra, Senior Director of Goldman, Sachs & Co Mark Schwartz, and a number of other high-profile executives from the industry to its ranks. The Japanese telecommunications giant is expected to have a large role on the U.S. market in the coming years, with the firm being expected to invest significant resources into numerous American startups through its massive tech fund, in addition to possibly merging Sprint with T-Mobile. A potential consolidation of the third and fourth largest wireless carrier in the country has been rumored for years now but was effectively stopped by the former Obama administration which clearly signaled that it's not open toward major M&As in the wireless segment. The situation changed with the arrival of the Trump administration, especially in light of the fact that SoftBank could play an important part in the current President's plan to create more American jobs, which was one of his main campaign promises.

Claure is still in the process of trying to revitalize Sprint's struggling operations that saw the Overland Park, Kansas-based company lose its title of the third largest wireless carrier to T-Mobile two years ago. The shift in commercial performance between Sprint and T-Mobile is another reason why their consolidation still isn't certain, with Deutsche Telekom now reportedly being closer to acquiring Sprint than SoftBank is to merging T-Mobile with its telecom firm. An update on the situation is expected to follow in the coming months.

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