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With Layoffs Looming, Sprint Moves to Localize Its Sales Efforts

The company is shifting efforts that had been centralized at headquarters and divided by the type of customer being served.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

With $2 billion in cost cuts looming, Sprint said Friday that it plans to reorganize its sales force, placing more emphasis on regional units and less on the type of customer being served.

Historically, Sprint has had different teams serving large businesses and small businesses, as well as separate teams for traditional postpaid phone customers and those who use a prepaid service such as Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. With the new structure, Sprint will divide the country into four areas, each with its own head, and separate presidents in charge of 19 key markets.

CEO Marcelo Claure notified workers about the new “One Sprint” plan in an employee newsletter that went out Thursday. The company didn’t detail how many jobs would be impacted, but Claure again confirmed that layoffs are a necessary part of the strategy.

“These are actions that we must take so that we can ensure the strength and long-term success of our company, and save thousands of other jobs,” Claure said in the employee newsletter.

Sprint has said it is looking to cut $2 billion in costs next year and confirmed the move will involve layoffs, but it has declined to go into detail on the cuts. Claure did tell Re/code that he plans to make the cuts before the end of January, when a less generous severance plan kicks in.

Claure said he was pleased with a test of the new approach in Chicago over the last six months and decided to expand it nationwide.

“I know we will see great things if we give more leaders the power to be entrepreneurial in coming up with the best ways to connect with customers in their markets,” Claure told employees.

Tracy Nolan, who was running the Chicago and Wisconsin market, will help lead the shift to the new structure in addition to continuing to oversee that region.

Claure also announced a pair of executive hires in the memo. Former Brightstar and SoftBank executive Ramon Colomina is coming over to the Sprint side as senior vice president of supply chain and interim chief procurement officer. Former AMC Theatres executive Christina Sternberg is joining as Claure’s chief of staff, replacing Jay Spaulding, who will move into an unspecified new role.

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