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Sprint Taps Former American Spy for Board Seat

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Sprint now has ten board members

Just as it prepares to possibly merge with T-Mobile (TMUS), Sprint (S) has tapped a former American senior spy for a seat on its board of directors. Stephen Kappes was elected to its board, bringing the total number of board members to ten.

Kappes is a partner and chief operating officer at private equity company Torch Hill Investment Partners. He previously served in various leadership positions at the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).

Kappes served on Sprint subsidiaries’ boards

“Stephen’s remarkable career and leadership in the intelligence community and finance industry make him an important addition to the Sprint board,” said Sprint executive chairman Marcelo Claure. “His experience in both the public and private sectors enables him to provide guidance on national security issues impacting the telecom industry and advice on financial matters as well.” 

Kappes is not new to Sprint. He has served as a director for two Sprint subsidiaries since 2013. Sprint said Kappes would be part of the compensation committee of its board.

Claure to collect $78 million if the Sprint-T-Mobile goes through

Sprint executive chairman Claure, who recently stepped down from his CEO role, is poised to collect about $78 million and other awards if the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger goes through. Sprint posted $7.4 billion profit in its fiscal 2017 (ended in March), compared with a loss of $1.2 billion in fiscal 2016, as shown in the chart above. The fiscal 2017 profit included a $7.1 billion benefit from US tax reform. The profit was roughly $0.3 billion excluding the tax benefit.

US companies Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) weren’t so lucky in 2017, as the US tax reform affected them adversely because of their massive offshore cash holdings.

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