Sprint's CTO Takes a Hike

Sprint Corp. confirmed Wednesday that Marty Kaplan, the company's chief technology officer, has resigned from the long-distance carrier.

Kaplan had held the position of senior vice president and chief technology officer since August 1995. He worked with Sprint for 28 years.

During the past year, Sprint has lost several high-level executives, said Jeff Kagan, telecom industry analyst in Marietta, Georgia.

"Maybe a year ago, it wouldn't have meant as much," Kagan said, commenting on Kaplan's departure. "Spring has had such an executive fallout, though. They've really emptied their executive bench. Sprint is a shell of itself at the top levels. It's something they really need to invest in."

Kagan said he could recall four or five executives resigning in the past year, including Andrew Sukawaty, Sprint's chief executive officer for its wireless unit, who stepped down in mid-June. But the company is still a solid one with satisfied customers, Kagan said.

The company has lost, along with Sukawaty, other top executives such as their chief strategy planner and senior vice president of consumer market planning, said Sprint spokesman Mark Bonavia.

While the company is saddened to see good employees go, it leaves open doors of opportunity for the next generation of leaders within the company to emerge, Bonavia said.

"We pride ourselves with having deep bench strength," he said.

Bonavia said that resignations often happen when a merger is occurring. Sprint and WorldCom Inc. called off nine months of merger talks in July.

Sprint, in Westwood, Kansas, can be reached at +1-913-624-3000 or http://www.sprint.com/.

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