SEATTLE (AP) - Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. said Thursday that one of its top product development veterans is leaving the company.
Packingham, 39, is leaving to become CEO of another venture based in Kansas City, Mo. The spokeswoman declined to give further details.
Sprint gained wireless subscribers in the most recent quarter for the first time in three years. It had been losing subscribers ever since its 2005 acquisition of Nextel. That network, incompatible with Sprint‘s, is valued for its walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk function but is poorly suited to smart phones.
The Overland Park, Kan., company is making a bet that a faster 4th-generation, or 4G, wireless network will help it turn around the losses. Packingham led the group responsible for launching the first 4G phone, the Evo from HTC Corp., and had just announced a second model, the Epic from Samsung Corp.
Kiefer said Sprint will not fill Packingham’s exact position. His colleague Fared Adib, vice president of product development, and his manager Steve Elfman, will continue to work on product development. The technology development team will report to Elfman.
Sprint shares dipped a penny to close at $4.47.
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