Sprint CFO, other top executives ousted

January 24, 2008, 6:07 PM UTC

By Michal Lev-Ram

Looks like new Sprint Nextel CEO Daniel Hesse isn’t wasting any time cleaning house at the troubled wireless carrier.

Three senior executives — Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh, Chief Marketing Officer Tim Kelly, and Mark Angelino, president of sales and distribution — will be leaving the company, effective Jan. 25, Sprint spokesman John Polivka told Fortune.

William Arendt, currently senior VP and controller of Sprint (S), will serve as acting CFO, while John Garcia and Paget Alves will take over as interim CMO and president of sales and distribution, respectively.

“Permanent leaders will be named in conjunction with a review of overall strategy and an effort to streamline operations,” Hesse said in a statement. “I have no predetermined time-frame in filling these positions but plan to act as quickly as possible as I consider both internal and external candidates.”

After experiencing record customer defections, Sprint hired Hesse — known for his aggressive cost-cutting — to replace CEO Gary Forsee last December. Under Hesse, the company recently announced it would cut 4,000 jobs, or about seven percent of its total workforce. It also said it would close down 125 stores nationwide.

Sprint could use some new direction — it lost 683,000 wireless customers in the most recent quarter, and its $35 billion merger with Nextel hasn’t met expectations. And its $5 billion bet on a next-generation wireless network technology called WiMax is far from proving itself.