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Shakeup at Softbank plus $10 billion sale


dkyeager

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This is interesting, especially because I was thinking about just yesterday how I wouldn't be surprised if there was a big change at SoftBank or even somehow a surprise sale of Sprint and then today this news is released. And I've not been paying attention to them lately so even more surprised I had that feeling.

I am curious what this means though.

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Sprint stock price up 3.75%

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http://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2016/06/softbank-coo-nikesh-arora-stepping-down-son-focuses-sprint

 

Son said Arora “should be CEO of a global business,” but should not be kept waiting in line at Softbank while Son finishes up his legacy projects.

“I had hoped to hand over the reins of SoftBank to (Arora) on my 60th birthday - but I feel my work is not done,” Son said in a statement. “I want to cement SoftBank 2.0, develop Sprint to its true potential and work on a few more crazy ideas. This will require me to be CEO for at least another five to ten years - this is not a time frame for me to keep Nikesh waiting for the top job.”

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“The plan is no plan” either Arora is being a big baby, or now after realizing he won't head up Softbank anytime soon, he decided to just quit which is still kinda baby like.  He probably just wants to run a company really bad, be the CEO.  Should of stayed a President at Softbank while he tries to get "poached" by another company to be their CEO.  

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Food for thought...we know Son has no problem complaining about Sprint publicly. Yet he says he wants to develop Sprint to its full potential. He feels like he needs to get directly involved with Sprint now. He is going to stir a lot up being more involved. It's going to be directly on his shoulders, and he does not take no for an answer.

 

I think Marcelo has been bending his ear for a long time saying he needs him to get into the game directly with him. I'm cautiously optimistic this could be the catalyst that will stop from turn around mode to charge ahead mode.

 

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arora had been trying to unload Sprint when he came on board but son was against it.  Sprint is Son's legacy, he does not want to go into the night knowing his job at Sprint is not done.  I bet the 20 billions in cash that Son just got from selling his other investments probably will be used on Sprint.  And he is rightfully so.  just think about it:  Sprint has a lot of potential.  A market of more than 300 millions and growing can more than enough support 4 extremely profitable carriers, think about 5g and fixed wireless etc.  Japan has about 130 millions people and aging and still the 3 national carriers over there are very profitable.  

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Classic business case of a long-time strong CEO (usually founder) wanting to stay for longer.  But ambitious successors do not want to wait longer.  Or there are doubts that a successor has the necessary vision and leadership.

 

The most recent high profile departure of an heir apparent was at Disney two months ago:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/business/media/thomas-staggs-walt-disney-company.html

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It's boggles my mind that analysts, magentans  and critics say : Sprint is only  a wireless dumb pipe, while tmobile has BingeOn, Verizon Go and AT&T Directv.  Well isn't Sprint parent company Softbank has a lot of different Ventures  etc. 

 

I am pretty sure once Sprint LTE network is fixed everywhere, fast and reliable that Softbank will integrate others businesses into Sprint. 

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Food for thought...we know Son has no problem complaining about Sprint publicly. Yet he says he wants to develop Sprint to its full potential. He feels like he needs to get directly involved with Sprint now. He is going to stir a lot up being more involved. It's going to be directly on his shoulders, and he does not take no for an answer.

 

I think Marcelo has been bending his ear for a long time saying he needs him to get into the game directly with him. I'm cautiously optimistic this could be the catalyst that will stop from turn around mode to charge ahead mode.

 

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I wouldn't hold my breath. It goes to show that Sprint, as a company, cannot properly execute their network plans. It's going to take Son coming in and taking over how everything's running. But, this has been rumored for awhile. Sprint is finally starting to see a glimpse of potential profit, but they're doing it at too slow of a pace in an industry that is highly competitive (where natural customer growth is stunted, this industry has to rely on stealing customers from competitors.)
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I wouldn't hold my breath. It goes to show that Sprint, as a company, cannot properly execute their network plans. It's going to take Son coming in and taking over how everything's running. But, this has been rumored for awhile. Sprint is finally starting to see a glimpse of potential profit, but they're doing it at too slow of a pace in an industry that is highly competitive (where natural customer growth is stunted, this industry has to rely on stealing customers from competitors.)

Ain't no one holdin' their breath. I did that back in 2012 and I turned blue. But you outline yourself in this quote that things are changing, just not fast enough. For you or Masa, for that matter.

 

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I speculate this: Son isn't wanting to stay involved "just because" he isn't satisfied with some parts of the business, but also because he sees opportunities and has ideas to make progress. He understands opportunity. His desire to stay around is a huge plus for SoftBank and hopefully sprint

 

 

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In 7 months there will be a new administration. Of course confirmation of new FCC members and Department of Justice leadership will take time.  New merger and acquisition opportunities will likely arise.

There are also possibilities with refinancing Sprint debt that could substantially reduce interest expense, but these will need to be creative.  Personal involvement of an iconic chairman of a conglomerate will likely open new doors of opportunity.

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Having been involved with Sprint in a peripheral way, I saw the old "telecom" mentality. Both Nextel and T-Mobile had the mentality of a startup. Sprint, layers upon layers of bureaucracy. Nextel, just get it done! The cost metrics for Sprint are much larger than for T-Mobile. They really need to get those down to compete.

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arora had been trying to unload Sprint when he came on board but son was against it.  Sprint is Son's legacy, he does not want to go into the night knowing his job at Sprint is not done.  I bet the 20 billions in cash that Son just got from selling his other investments probably will be used on Sprint.  And he is rightfully so.  just think about it:  Sprint has a lot of potential.  A market of more than 300 millions and growing can more than enough support 4 extremely profitable carriers, think about 5g and fixed wireless etc.  Japan has about 130 millions people and aging and still the 3 national carriers over there are very profitable.  

I simply look at the attention that Sprint is suddenly attracting from its competitors. I just saw an internet ad today from Verizon targeted at Sprint customers. This tells me that Sprint is now firmly a threat.

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Another one who is trying really hard to fight Sprint is T-Mobile by way of MetroPCS. I don't think any of the carriers ever expected Sprint to last this long. I even know a few of people who thought Sprint would be bankrupt by now yet here we are.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm really glad for Sprint and Masayoshi Son hearing this news. When I heard about all the power Masayoshi Son was giving to Nikesh Arora, a man who seemed to really like Sprint and not doing much to help it, made me think Masayoshi Son had also given up. Seeing how Nikesh Arora also is handling his departure, I'm wondering if some of the missteps that have happened in Sprint during the past year or so, including the delay of news regarding NGN have something to do with Nikesh Arora's involvement. I had thought perhaps Marcelo was becoming tired of his job, in lacking effort in NGN development. However, now I see that maybe Marcelo was hoping for a team effort in rebuilding Sprint with Masayoshi Son, but then was kept back on his plans working together when Nikesh Arora got involved with his anti-Sprint mentality.

 

Now with Nikesh Arora out of Softbank and Sprint, with Marcelo having better access/communications with Masayoshi Son again active in Sprint, things can really start to change/develop positively for Sprint. I hope so.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the CNBC news coverage of SoftBank's purchase of ARM Holdings, a comment was made by a talking head about 2:10 PM Central time that Softbank considered Sprint "self sustaining".  The talking head said SoftBank most likely would NOT put more money into Sprint.

 

IF true, what does that mean for the various technology upgrades in planning, in progress or future development?

 

 

http://www.streetinsider.com/Reuters/SoftBank+agrees+to+buy+Britains+ARM+Holdings+for+$31+billion%3A+FT/11836383.html

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Sprint has definitely been going after the low hanging fruit of more LTE b41 carriers and more 25 LTE carrier bandwidth for a while. This will likely continue given CFO comments. They also have been adding LTE to ground mounted sites. I expect all of this to continue. Small cells are a greater unknown at this point, especially their timing. Sprint wants to have a profitable year for the first time in many years. The concept is this will help drive down interest costs.

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Sprint has definitely been going after the low hanging fruit of more LTE b41 carriers and more 25 LTE carrier bandwidth for a while. This will likely continue given CFO comments. They also have been adding LTE to ground mounted sites. I expect all of this to continue. Small cells are a greater unknown at this point, especially their timing. Sprint wants to have a profitable year for the first time in many years. The concept is this will help drive down interest costs.

 

So you're saying the rest of the year continue turning on band 41 in more markets as well as adding a 2nd career of band 25 mostly ? And what do you mean add LTE to ground sites ? Can you explain that ?

 

 

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So you're saying the rest of the year continue turning on band 41 in more markets as well as adding a 2nd career of band 25 mostly ? And what do you mean add LTE to ground sites ? Can you explain that ?

 

 

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More B41 carriers is occurring now at existing 8t8r sites. From a customer standpoint LTE has almost become a requirement. Historically Sprint waited until tower mounted radios were installed to turn on LTE. These provide much better signal, mimo, etc. With the use of combiners, LTE can be added to sites with ground mounted radios with far less capital with reduced but still good coverage. These sites can support 10x10 LTE. We have not confirmed any in Ohio with second carrier, including one surrounded by second carrier sites.
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