WSJ: Mr. Garcia is stepping down as head of the CDMA business, the unit that control’s 70% of Sprint’s customer base. The circumstances of Mr. Garcia’s departure were not clear. The company spokeswoman declined to comment, and Mr. Garcia could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sprint has tapped Keith Cowan, president of strategy and corporate development, as an interim replacement for Mr. Garcia while it searches for a successor.
Sprint has had considerable turnover in upper management in the past year as it looks to revive its ailing business and catch up to rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless. Dan Hesse, who took over as Sprint’s chief executive late last year, has overhauled most top staff, adding a new chief financial officer, Robert Brust, while ousting executives such as Tim Kelly, former marketing chief, and Mark Angelino, former head of sales and distribution.
While the wireless industry is still experiencing steady growth, Sprint has steadily lost subscribers over the last year or so — primarily from its Nextel walkie-talkie business.
Under Garcia, Sprint’s CDMA business, on the other hand, has done comparatively better, but not great. For instance, it leads the industry at getting subscribers to pay for wireless data services, like Internet and text messaging.
But Sprint could have a rough Christmas: Its main rivals all have sexy, new smartphones — AT&T (T) has Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, Verizon (VZ) has RIM’s (RIMM) new touchscreen BlackBerry Storm, and T-Mobile has Google’s (GOOG) G1. But Sprint doesn’t have much to compete with, except a less sophisticated iPhone lookalike called the Samsung Instinct.
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