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Sprint adds Whitworth to board of directors

Tue, 02/12/2008 - 8:06am
Mike Robuck

Sprint Nextel has added Ralph Whitworth to its board of directors, which gives the company the benefit of Whitworth’s corporate turnaround experience.

Whitworth is the founder and principal of Relational Investors and the owner of about 2 percent of Sprint Nextel’s stock.

“We are pleased to have Ralph Whitworth join our board,” said James Hance, chairman of Sprint’s board. “Relational Investors is a large investor in Sprint Nextel, and over the past year I’ve had several discussions with Ralph and have always come away impressed by his insights and interest in working with our board and management to enhance shareholder value. He possesses broad financial expertise and has extensive experience as a board member, having served on the boards of eight major public companies.”

Whitworth, 52, also serves on the board of directors of Sovereign Bancorp Inc. He previously served both as a member of the board and as the chairman of Waste Management Inc. and Apria HealthCare Group Inc. during major turnaround situations.

Whitworth will serve on the board until Sprint has its annual meeting later this year, at which he will be nominated for re-election by shareholders.

“I’m pleased to be a member of the Sprint Nextel board,” said Whitworth. “I look forward to assisting my fellow board members to rebuild shareholder value. A turnaround at Sprint Nextel won’t be easy, but I believe the ingredients are in place to get the job done for the company’s shareholders. I am encouraged by the company’s new CEO, Dan Hesse. Dan has committed to review all aspects of the company’s business and shown a willingness to make tough decisions.”

In other Sprint Nextel news, USA Today reported yesterday that Hesse is considering flat-rate prices for unlimited voice calls as one way of turning the company’s fortunes around. Sprint is currently the third-largest wireless provider behind, respectively, AT&T and Verizon. Sprint lost more than 800,000 customers in its fourth quarter.

Late last year, Sprint suspended rolling out more of the Pivot wireless service that was part of the joint venture with ComcastCox Communications and Time Warner Cable.

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• Yahoo snatches Maven for $160M 

• Qwest straggles to higher profits 

• AT&T bows U-verse VoIP service in Conn. 

• Sprint adds Whitworth to board of directors 

• TWTC boosts revenues, decreases net loss in Q4 

• Microtune’s 3-in-1 tuner finds a home in TiVo’s HD DVR 

• Broadband Briefs for 2/12/08 

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