At a meeting with Sprint Corp. executives in October, the chief executive of parent company SoftBank Corp. lost his temper about the mobile carrier’s advertising, complaining that it wasn’t luring enough new customers. “Are you stupid?” yelled Masayoshi Son, who engineered the Japanese company’s takeover of the No. 3 wireless provider in the U.S. last year for about $22 billion, according to three people in the room. He slammed his fist on a table and suggested that Sprint fire all its ad agencies and start over. One person who was there says some Sprint executives told Mr. Son later that the company couldn’t just cancel its advertising contracts…He has been working on a possible bid for T-Mobile, people familiar with the matter say. But U.S. antitrust officials have expressed strong opposition, saying a takeover could reduce competition. It has been about two years since the Justice Department rejected AT&T’s $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile. For now at least, that leaves Mr. Son to fix what he calls a “loser” mentality at Sprint and complacency at the mobile carrier’s headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., a person close to him says…Defenders of Mr. Son say he congratulates as often as he criticizes, occasionally hugging employees. [WSJ]
- 28 Aug 2014 at 8:00 AM
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- Executive Editor
- Bess Levin
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