"SPRINT HAS NOT MADE ANT MONEY IN II YEARS. MY GOAL. BY THE TIME I'M DONE IS 10 DAVE A COMPANY THAI IS PROFITABLE, THAT GENERATES A EOT OF CASH FLOW, THAT EMPLOYEES ARE PROUD TO COME WORK FOR. TO HAVE A COMPANY THAT IS A LEADER IN WHAT WE DO."
Marcelo Claure works at a breakneck pace.
His frenzied day starts at seven in the morning, taking phone calls, talking to everyone and making decisions that will affect his 70,000 employees at Sprint, one of the world's most iconic telecommunications companies in the world. And that's just the start.
The 6-foot-six-inch, 45-year-old Claure is far too swift for his size, holding intense daily sales meetings, getting together with his executives who hail from all over the world and implementing a hands on approach that reveal that the man who created and once ran Brightstar, the most successful Latino-owned U.S. company is first and foremost an entrepreneur. All of this business juggernaut has one goal: to turn around Sprint, a company which had been on a downward spiral for years, burning cash and losing to telecommunications rivals, having to settle for fourth place behind arch foe, T-Mobile.
In this winter morning at Sprint's World Headquarters Campus (a massive collection of buildings in Kansas City that resemble a college), Claure has been forced to take some time away from his office cubicle. He's had some dental work done, but that has only kept the man away for a few hours.
Decked in a long, light grey overcoat, black shirt and slacks, the tall Bolivian (he was born in Guatemala from Bolivian parents who worked for the United Nations, hence his background) enters a glass-shielded conference room.
A human dynamo, Claure is nimble, speaks fast and does everything with no wasted motion; the race is on to improve Sprint and the clock is ticking. Consider Exhibit A: when he saw that his own new office at Sprint was bigger than his apartment, he ordered it rebuilt.
He also commanded that his lieutenants shun their office or work spaces for more plebian but efficient cubicles.
"I think it brings a different mood, a different environment; you don't need a meeting to go talk to somebody," he says.
The larger than life Claure may just be what Sprint needs, some business observers say. A world traveler with an impeccable track record as a successful impresario, a close friend with soccer superstar David Beckham, Claure was hand-picked by Sprint's new owner, Masayoshi Son, Japan's second richest man to revamp and make his telecom company profitable.
Claure joined Sprint in 2014, after selling his company, Brightstar, to Son. The soccer enthusiast (he owns Bolivar, a pro soccer team in Bolivia) moved from his Miami home with his family to Kansas City, where he has been busy attempting what...