CFO Brust looks to save Sprint, one pencil at a time
Bob Brust came out of retirement in May this year for the Chief Financial Officer job at Sprint, aiming to help the No. 3 U.S. mobile service turn around its business. Instead of looking to make himself popular, Brust has been spending his nights looking over purchasing orders.
In his first meeting with the company’s senior managers he admonished them over how much the company was spending on bottled water. Sprint employees now get their water from the tap. He has also tackled office supplies, putting an end to most purchases. Employees were forced to reuse things or share if they couldn’t find what they wanted lying around in closets. The results included savings of $17.6 million on office supplies, $15.6 million on travel and $1.41 million on 35.4 million sheets of printing paper.
And today, as the company offers buyouts and contemplates layoffs for January, Brust is tougher than ever about waste.
“If you can certify that you need a new pencil I might give it to you,” he said.
Will this attitude help the company, deemed by an investor advisory firm to have the most overpaid corporate executives in 2007, win back the trust of investors?