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Sprint names Michel Combes as CEO and Marcelo Claure as executive chairman

  • Sprint announced on Wednesday that CFO Michel Combes has been appointed CEO, replacing Marcelo Claure who will become Sprint executive chairman.
  • Claure will also assume new roles at SoftBank, including COO at SoftBank Group and CEO at SoftBank Group International.
  • There, he will continue to oversee SoftBank's investment in Sprint and the combined Sprint-T-Mobile company, should the merger be approved.

Sprint announced on Wednesday that its Board of Directors appointed CFO Michel Combes to the role of CEO. Acting CEO Marcelo Claure will fill the role of executive chairman at Sprint, as well as new roles at SoftBank, in preparation for the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger.

Claure and Combes are expected to assume their new roles on or before May 31.

"Marcelo has...positioned Sprint as a leader in the race to 5G, which promises to revolutionize the communications industry. He will continue to guide Sprint's strategy and momentum as Executive Chairman through a successful closing with T-Mobile," Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group said in a statement.

Claure, who has served as Sprint CEO since 2014, will assume the roles of COO at SoftBank Group and CEO at SoftBank Group International. There, he will oversee SoftBank's investment in Sprint and the combined Sprint-T-Mobile company, should the merger be approved.

Claure's responsibilities will include facilitating collaboration between Sprint and SoftBank's portfolio companies in Internet of Things, automation and artificial intelligence — areas in which SoftBank is investing, and that the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile company will target as it moves to develop 5G.

Sprint and T-Mobile announced on Sunday a blockbuster merger agreement that would create a combined company with more than 100 million subscribers and a value of $146 billion. The new company has touted its ability to create thousands of U.S. jobs and a large-scale 5G network.

Bit the agreement still faces regulatory scrutiny from the Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on telecom mergers.

Should the Sprint-T-Mobile merger win regulatory approval, the new company will preserve T-Mobile's name and CEO, John Legere. But both Claure and SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Son will join the board of directors of the newly formed company.

Sprint has begun searching for an executive to fill the CFO position that will be left vacant after Combes assumes his new position.

Shares of Sprint jumped 1.7 percent after the announcement.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.