1. Last Stop on the BusStan O'Neal finally got the hook at Merrill Lynch ( MER). The brokerage firm's CEO
2. Citizen CayneJimmy Cayne, Bear Stearns' ( BSC) cigar-chomping CEO, may have bitten off more than he can chew. Bear shares
3. Sprint to the BottomSprint ( S) can't stop sliding. The Reston, Va., telco continues to amaze onlookers by losing subscribers even as wireless industry growth accelerates. On Thursday, Sprint said it lost 60,000 cell-phone customers in the third quarter -- marking its third quarterly subscriber loss in four quarters. That's a remarkable record, given that wireless handset maker Nokia ( NOK) last month raised its 2007 industrywide wireless-device sales forecast. Closer to home, Sprint rivals Verizon ( VZ) and AT&T ( T) together posted a third-quarter net gain of nearly 3 million wireless customers. But steady attrition was one of the hallmarks of former CEO Gary Forsee, who was forced out of Sprint last month after four ineffectual years atop the company. Like the deposed Merrill Lynch chief Stan O'Neal, Forsee seems to have succeeded in just one area: Clearing the deck of possible successors. So like Merrill, Sprint has been left to stumble through a bruising stretch without a full-time CEO. In Sprint's case, finance chief Paul Saleh is serving as interim chief executive while the board searches for someone better. That shouldn't be hard. So far, Saleh hasn't shown he has a clue of how to turn things around at Sprint, though he does seem to have a hammerlock on the obvious. "Going forward, our clear mandate is to improve the customer experience at every touchpoint and simplify our business," Saleh said Thursday. "We also plan to focus more resources on customer retention." Better step to it or all the customers will be gone. Dumb-o-Meter score: 90. The company also cut its full-year guidance.
4. French ToastAlcatel-Lucent ( ALU) continues to fire at will. The Paris-based telecom equipment maker posted its