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POW! Sprint kills T-Mobile US bid ... BAM! CEO Hesse is out

And new head honcho talks up 'extremely cost efficient' future... hmmm

Sprint has confirmed industry rumors by announcing the departure of its CEO, and has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US.

The telco said Wednesday morning that big cheese Dan Hesse will leave the biz and hand the reins to Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure. Hesse will leave the position effective Monday, August 11.

Claure cofounded Brightstar, which provides services and support for mobile operators, in 1997. His firm then sold a controlling share to Softbank for $1.26bn. Hesse, meanwhile, leaves a CEO role he took over in 2007. In 2013 he oversaw Sprint's acquisition by Softbank, a Japanese telcoms giant, so his departure a year later is not unexpected.

"I'm proud of the resilience of Sprint's people during a difficult transformation and I'm optimistic about how they will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future," outgoing Hesse said in a statement.

"It's been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than six-and-a-half years."

In announcing the CEO shake-up, Sprint also served notice that it was – as rumored – giving up its efforts to acquire rival T-Mobile US. The much-anticipated deal appears to have been thwarted by US antitrust authorities weary of any moves to further limit choice in mobile carriers in the US.

A combined Sprint-T-Mob would have created a third mobile carrier giant to compete with kingpins AT&T and Verizon.

"In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace," Claure said. And yes, "extremely cost efficient" caught our eye, too.

"While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint," the new CEO added.

Meanwhile, Tom Wheeler – chairman of US comms watchdog the FCC – indicated this morning the proposed acquisition never had much traction with his agency. "Four national wireless providers are good for American consumers," Wheeler said.

"Sprint now has an opportunity to focus their efforts on robust competition."

Meanwhile, T-Mobile US boss John Legere offered his own, er, take on the matter... ®

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