WiMax plans uncertain with naming of new Sprint CEO

Sprint's WiMax plans are still uncertain after the naming of a new CEO.

Sprint's WiMax plans are still uncertain after the naming of a new CEO.The Sprint Board of Directors has named wireless industry veteran Daniel R. Hesse as president and CEO of the company, effective immediately.

Hesse was the head of AT&T Wireless in the 1990s, and most recently was CEO of Embarq.

He replaces Gary Forsee, who was forced out as Sprint's CEO because the company was performing poorly, among other reasons.

What about WiMax?
Hesse has a difficult decision ahead: what to do about Sprint's ongoing project to start offering WiMax service next year.

One of the reasons Forsee left the company was he was the driving force behind the project, which many of its shareholders are opposed to. They dislike the plan to spend $5 billion on a new high-speed nationwide wireless data service called Xohm at a time when this telecom is losing subscribers.

Sprint has said it will leave the decision about WiMax to Hesse.

It's very unlikely the project will be scrapped, but it could be sold off to another company, or spun off as an independent entity that will be focused on offering WiMax service. If this happens, it's likely funding will be reduced, slowing progress on the nationwide rollout of service.

In the mean time, Sprint is going ahead with testing and has a pilot program running in three U.S. cities.

This was last published in January 2008

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