Sprint is replacing its longtime CEO Dan Hesse with Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure on the heels of a report that it is dropping its bid for rival wireless carrier T-Mobile.
Sprint shares fell 17 percent in premarket trading Wednesday.
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On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal said Sprint decided not to pursue the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. carriers, citing people familiar with the matter. It said Sprint planned to make an announcement about plans Wednesday.
Sprint says the 43-year-old Claure will replace Hesse on Monday.
Claure had been CEO of Brightstar Corp., a wireless distributor that is part of Softbank Corp. of Japan, which bought 70 percent of Sprint last year.
Hesse joined Sprint as CEO in 2007 and led the company through several acquisitions including the Softbank deal.