In a move that Sprint says will strengthen its leadership team, the carrier has announced that Andrew Davies will be taking over as Chief Financial Officer. The role was previously filled by long-term cable and telecoms executive Michel Combes, who also acts as CEO of the company. No other changes have been planned for Combes, who will maintain oversight of the position following the change. Although this is currently the only shuffle to be announced by the company, the move should free up Combes to take a more focused approach to his duties. In the meantime, Davies duties will include taking responsibility for the carrier's day-to-day operations. That includes financial strategy planning and analysis, in addition to managing accounting, treasury, tax, investor relations, risk management, auditing, and mergers and acquisitions.
Sprint seems to have at least one other reason for choosing Davies over other possible candidates. Although career highlights have included work in the same position for Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, the announcement highlights the pivotal role the new CFO played while holding the position at VEON. According to Sprint, Davies has helped lead companies "through transformational periods" and could provide precisely the guidance needed during Sprint's transformation. Specifically, the service provider points to Davies' work as a key player during a joint venture between VEON and CK Hutchison to launch the Italian mobile telecom Wind Tre. Given his history of managing cross-company financials and the collaborative creation of new companies, Combes is almost certainly referring to the ongoing merger proceedings between Sprint and T-Mobile. If that proposed merger is successful, the deal will see both companies reformed into a single carrier branded as the 'new' T-Mobile.
The odds of that merger moving forward appear to have been increasing steadily over the past several months. So the shift in upper management with Davies at the helm does make a lot of sense. For his part, the newly appointed CFO says that he is excited about the opportunity and looks forward to pursuing the "aggressive goals" laid out by CEO Michael Combes and executive chairman Marcelo Claure. The change will become effective when Davies officially steps into the role on July 2.