Sprint leaders quit Clearwire board

CEO Dan Hesse and two other executives resigned out of "caution" because of antitrust concerns

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse and two other Sprint executives have resigned from the board of Clearwire "out of an abundance of caution" after Clearwire raised concerns about possible antitrust issues, Clearwire said Thursday.

Clearwire had raised the concerns after recent developments in antitrust law including a Supreme Court decision in American Needle Inc. vs. National Football League, the company said in a press release. Sprint owns a majority stake in Clearwire, a joint venture that was formed in 2008 with wireless broadband provider Clearwire and other partners, including Google and cable operators, that invested in the company.

The executives resigned effective immediately. In addition to Hesse, also resigning were Keith Cowan, Sprint's president of strategy and corporate initiatives, and Steve Elfman, president of network operations and wholesale.

In the American Needle decision, the Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit to go forward over whether the NFL and its member teams could grant an exclusive license to one vendor to make team merchandise. Clearwire said its concerns revolved around the Clayton Act, which is designed to stop anticompetitive practices.

Clearwire is building a mobile WiMax network that Sprint and other partners are using to deliver high-speed wireless data service. It intends to reach 120 million U.S. residents by the end of this year.

Under the rules of the joint venture, Sprint has the right to appoint seven members of the board, which has 13 total members, according to Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat. The company only removed its members that are Sprint executives, and its four other appointees remain on the board, Sloat said. The concerns about antitrust law revolved around the place of Sprint executive officers on the Clearwire board, he said.

Sprint plans to name three new independent directors in the next few months to take the seats of Hesse and the other two executives, Sloat said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobilewirelesslegalNetworkingtelecommunicationWiMaxantitrustClearwiresprint nextel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?