Sprint has replaced veteran executive David Owens, who has been serving for the past three years as senior VP of product for the carrier, Re/code has learned.
Owens, who had been at Sprint more than 25 years, has been in charge of product strategy, device selection, engineering and relationships with handset makers, among other duties. His last day will be Jan. 29.
An internal memo from Chief Marketing Officer Roger Sole that was seen by Re/code makes it clear that Sprint initiated the change.
“This was a very difficult decision, as are those being made about individuals at every level in the organization,” Sole said in a note. “We must stay committed to this important process to create necessary changes to our company. We are simultaneously pursuing both growth and optimization as we strive to become a stronger competitor.”
A Sprint representative confirmed the move, praising Owens for his “amazing career” at Sprint.
“He contributed a great deal that helped the company succeed and evolve into the wireless company it is today,” Sprint said. “We thank him for all he has done and wish him best of luck and continued success in his future endeavors. He will be missed.”
The move comes as Sprint is making widespread layoffs as part of an effort to cut $2.5 billion in costs. The company plans to make a number of the rank-and-file cuts on Jan. 22, sources tell Re/code. CEO Marcelo Claure has said he wants to make the layoffs by Jan. 30 so employees benefit from the company’s older, more generous severance plan which is being replaced as of that date.
Rod Millar, who joined Sprint last year to head its buyback and other reverse logistics, will now be in charge of both that area and product. Millar will report to Sole.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.