Sprint Nextel has confirmed that Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product development, is leaving the company effective Aug. 16. Packingham started with Sprint back in 1999.

According to a Sprint spokeswoman, Sprint made an internal announcement about Packingham's departure weeks ago. The spokeswoman said Packingham, whose team was responsible for the HTC Evo 4G and the upcoming HTC Epic, is leaving on amicable terms but saw an opportunity elsewhere that he couldn't refuse.

Packingham will be signing on as CEO of a "Kansas City-based venture that is not a competitor to Sprint," said the spokeswoman.

Steve Elfman, president of Sprint's network operations and wholesale business, and Fared Adib, vice president of device operations, will oversee product development until a replacement can be found for Packingham.

Packingham's departure comes as Dan Schulman, head of Sprint's prepaid division, announced in late July that he would be leaving the company effective Aug. 23 to join American Express Co. as group president of enterprise growth.

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