Marcelo Claure is CEO of Sprint Corporation and a member of the board of directors of SoftBank Group Corp. Sprint is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, providing service to 54 million customers in nearly 200 countries around the world. Marcelo joined the company in August 2014 and is leading one of the most significant transformations in U.S. corporate history.
Marcelo is managing the business with an entrepreneurial spirit that has also rejuvenated the company culture and brand. Through his leadership, Sprint has become an aggressive, agile and innovative competitor in the wireless industry.
Sprint has dramatically improved its products and services and is increasingly garnering top awards from third-party experts – including Nielsen, Ookla and RootMetrics – for network reliability, speed, text and call quality. Sprint has also reversed course from losing nearly 8,000 customers a day in 2014 to adding nearly 14,000 a day in the first fiscal quarter of 2017. Simultaneously, the company has increased revenue, eliminated billions of dollars in costs, delivered the largest operating income of the last 10 years and once again generated free cash flow.
Sprint revolutionized the wireless industry by becoming the first carrier in the world to offer only one rate plan with unlimited data, talk and text, eliminating customers’ concerns about data overages and the confusion that comes with multiple rate plans. The company has also pioneered revolutionary approaches to wireless service. Sprint Flex is the best way to get the latest phone, with flexibility to upgrade or purchase the device. And the iPhone Forever and Galaxy Forever programs allow customers to get new iPhone or Galaxy devices every year.
Marcelo embodies the successful pursuit of the American Dream. He immigrated to the United States from Bolivia and later became a U.S. citizen. In 1994, he started his first business, a small retailer of wireless phones. In 1997, he founded Brightstar as a small, Miami-based wireless distributor that he transformed into the world’s largest global wireless distribution and services company with revenues exceeding $10 billion and a presence in more than 50 countries. Brightstar was recognized as the largest Hispanic-owned business in U.S. history.
In 2014, Marcelo’s passion for soccer led him to partner with David Beckham and Simon Fuller to launch Miami Beckham United, a venture to establish a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami. He also currently owns BAISA, which operates Club Bolivar, Bolivia’s most popular and successful soccer team in national and international competition.
Marcelo is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a member of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame. CNET en Español named him one of the Top 20 Most Influential Latinos in Technology for 2015, and he was recognized as 2011 Hispanic Businessman of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneur of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine. In 2016, he was among 42 individuals selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of the “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” initiative recognizing notable contributions to the progress of our society.
Giving back to those in need is one of Marcelo’s top priorities. More than a decade ago, he and Nicholas Negroponte co-founded One Laptop Per Child, an organization dedicated to providing low-cost laptops to children in impoverished communities. At Sprint, Marcelo launched the 1Million Project, the largest corporate initiative to bridge the digital divide and help close the “Homework Gap” for 1 million U.S. high school students who lack home internet access.
Marcelo is also Chairman of CTIA – The Wireless Association and Treasurer of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a nonprofit working to eliminate opportunity gaps for young men of color.
Marcelo earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance in 1993 and an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Bentley University in Massachusetts. He is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. Marcelo is married and has five children.