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Sprint networks executive Azzi to quit in new post-Softbank shakeup

A man using a mobile phone walks past a SoftBank Corp branch in Tokyo May 29, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A man using a mobile phone walks past a SoftBank Corp branch in Tokyo May 29, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (Reuters) - Sprint Corp's senior vice president in charge of network infrastructure is leaving the company, the latest in a series of executive reshuffles following the acquisition of the wireless carrier by Japan's SoftBank Corp last year.

Bob Azzi, a 26-year veteran of Sprint, will leave the Overland Park, Kansas-based company on March 14, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

"Bob and Sprint reached a mutual understanding and Bob will be leaving. He is very actively engaged with the team to ensure a smooth transition of responsibility and we wish him well," Roni Singleton, a spokeswoman for Sprint, told Reuters.

The company refused to comment on the reasons for the departure of Azzi, who is 57.

Sprint, which ranked last among U.S. mobile telecom operators in a customer satisfaction survey by the influential Consumer Reports organization, has been revamping its network after years of customer losses.

As senior vice president-Network, Azzi implemented Network Vision, Sprint's effort to upgrade its wireless network infrastructure and improve reliability and speed, an initiative the company says it will finish by mid-2014.

The memo also announced the breakup of Sprint's Network Technology and Operations sector into three separate organizations, all reporting to CEO Dan Hesse.

Executives at SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications company, have said their post-acquisition priority is to bolster Sprint's wireless service.

In October, Sprint announced the departure of its chief sales officer and the retirement of its chief marketing officer.

Reuters reported last week that another company veteran, Fared Adib, was also leaving.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Writing by Marina Lopes; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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