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Sprint Nextel Finds CEO

Daniel Hesse will leave Embarq to run the company.

Sprint Nextel

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is bringing back Daniel Hesse to serve as the communications company's president and chief executive, filling the post vacated two months ago by Gary Forsee.

Hesse, 54, was chairman, president and CEO of


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, a company he had led since it was spun from Sprint in 2006. His appointment at Sprint is effective immediately.

Hesse was in charge of Sprint's local telecommunications division for a year before the spinoff. Prior to that, he was CEO of TeraBeam a broadband wireless venture. Hesse previously spent 23 years at


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, including a stint between 1997 and 2000 as the chief of AT&T Wireless Services, which was then the largest wireless operator in the U.S.

Hesse also joined Sprint's board of directors. James Hance, a board member since early 2005, will remain chairman.

Sprint shares were up 1.4% to $14.10 in premarket trading Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Embarq named Tom Gerke, its general counsel, as interim CEO. Bill Owens, Embarq's lead director, was named nonexecutive chairman.