More directors are streaming out of shrinking wireless carrier Sprint Nextel (S). The company says in a SEC filing today that board members Keith J. Bane and Linda Koch Lorimer won’t stand for re-election at the company’s shareholder meeting in May. Earlier this year, directors Frank Drendel and William Swanson also decided to leave the board.
Today’s news was music to Walter Piecyk’s ears — he’s the Pali Capital analyst who’s been targeting Lorimer and Bane to step down from the company’s board. In an email, he tells us he’s “very pleased” that the two have decided to “effectively resign” from Sprint’s board.
He also says the job isn’t done: “We continue to think it is in the best interest of shareholders to vote against the reelection of Irv Hockaday and Gordon Bethune if they insist on running for re-election.”
Meanwhile, as Sprint’s board shrinks, the company has also rolled out its newest commercial, featuring new CEO Hesse plugging his new “Simply Everything” service plan. Piecyk, via Pali’s research blog (subscription required):
CEO Dan Hesse has featured himself in the ad (shown below) following in the footsteps of Carly Fiorina at Hewlett Packard, Dr. Dieter Zetsche at Daimler, Dave Thomas from Wendy’s and of course Sy Sperling from the Hair Club for Men. The advertisement does not attempt to promote the significant savings that the Simply Everything Plan offers for PDA/Blackberry users but instead focuses on the “revolution” of using all the services on a cell phone without being charged.
Hesse asks the viewer, “Pretty awesome, huh?” Well, in our view no, that really isn’t awesome at $100 per month…. Awesome would be a rate plan that would have a noticeable impact on gross subscriber additions since you will have to reduce churn to 1.8% from 2.6% in Q1 just to stop losing customers.