Sprint sheds CEO, customers

Sprint Nexel Chairman and CEO Gary Forsee resigned late yesterday, effective immediately, after Sprint’s board started actively looking to replace him. (AP in Yahoo! Finance) Forsee oversaw the as-yet unsuccessful $35 billion merger of Sprint and Nextel—the No. 3 U.S. cellphone provider’s shares have dropped 22 percent since the companies combined in 2005. Sprint also announced yesterday that it will lose 337,000 more monthly customers this quarter. “Sprint’s not starting with a clean slate, but it will at least be able to reset expectations now that Forsee is gone,” said Stanford Group analyst Michael Nelson. (The Washington Post)

UAW sets Chrysler strike deadline

The United Auto Workers said its 49,000 hourly workers at Chrysler LLC will go on strike Wednesday if the two sides do not reach agreement on a new labor pact. UAW members are still voting on last month’s pact with General Motors, which includes a landmark $35 billion pension buyout by GM. ( But analysts say that Chrysler, now owned by private equity firm Cerberus, has different priorities than GM. “They don’t necessarily want to contribute a large amount of money to a long-term solution when Cerberus is more than likely a short-term owner,” said Global Insight analyst Aaron Bragman. (AP in Yahoo! Finance)

Selling the revolutionary

Forty years after his death, Argentine-born Cuban socialist icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara has become a capitalist goldmine. This doesn’t sit well with some of Che’s fans and descendants. An auction house in Dallas, Texas, is receiving threats for auctioning off a lock of Che’s hair, purportedly snipped off by Miami-based Cuban exile Gustavo Villoldo after Che was shot. The opening bid is $50,000. (The Miami Herald) Che’s daughter, Aleida Guevara March, says she tolerates the profiteering when his image is used respectfully. But a Che-themed bikini is hard to take. “We’re not after money,” she says. “We just don’t want him misused.” (The New York Times, free registration required)

Marketing on the brain

Not satisfied with focus groups, marketers in Europe are starting to use brain scans to fine-tune their ad campaigns. The emerging field, neuromarketing, employs MRI machines and other high-tech instruments to monitor how ads, logos, and jingles register in the brain. And Stanford researchers are working on ways to accurately predict what elements will cause a shopper to buy a product. Gemma Calvert at British neuromarketing consultancy Neurosense explains that emotions are hard for test consumers to describe. “We can see the discrepancy between what you say and what your brain says, and reduce the margin of error,” she says. (