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Sprint’s Prepaid Chief Leaves

Overland Park, Kan. – Dan
Schulman, the architect of Sprint’s recent multi-brand prepaid cellular
strategy, is leaving the carrier to join American Express as a group VP.

 Schulman was president of Sprint Prepaid,
whose activities now become the responsibility of Robert H. Johnson, president
of Sprint’s consumer organization. The consumer segment incorporates Sprint’s
postpaid consumer marketing and sales, including sales through about 11,000
retail outlets.

 Earlier this year, Schulman unveiled a


to position various prepaid
brands to specific customer demographics and customer needs.

connection with Virgin Mobile USA goes back to the


of the
service in 2002, when it was a joint venture between Sprint and the Virgin
Group and he was its CEO. In 2009, Sprint acquired Virgin Mobile and integrated
it with its Boost Mobile prepaid service. Other prepaid brands followed.

 “When I joined Sprint, we had a great
opportunity to change the way prepaid was delivered to customers,” Schulman
said in a written statement. “I couldn’t be more satisfied with how we have
executed against the multi-brand strategy and the strong future prepaid has
ahead of it. The integration of Virgin Mobile is complete, and the synergies
envisioned were achieved. Dan Hesse is a good friend and I have had the
pleasure to work with him for a long time. I leave Sprint confident in the
company’s direction under his leadership and management team.”

Under the
new multi-brand strategy, the company repositioned the Virgin Mobile brand
mainly toward young social networkers and its Boost Mobile brand to talk and
text users. Sprint also launched a pay-as-you-go prepaid service — Common
Cents Mobile — for cost-conscious consumers who primarily use cellular voice
and text. That service became available exclusively at more than 700 Walmart in
May. Sprint’s other existing prepaid brand, Assurance Wireless, remained
targeted to 37 million low-income households who qualify for free
government-paid service.

 The new Virgin Mobile sub-brand PayLo is a
pay-as-you-go service targeted to low-usage consumers who mostly want to talk
and want to keep their costs down to about $20/month. It becomes available this
month in drug and convenience stores as well as RadioShack and Best Buy.