RESTON, Virginia: The third largest cellphone operator in the US, Sprint Nextel, has disconnected chairman/ceo Gary Forsee (pictured) after recent poor financial results and calls from investors to beef up performance against rivals AT&T and Verizon.

The telco says it expects a net loss of around 337,000 wireless subscribers in the third quarter and operating revenue slightly lower than its previous forecast of between $41 billion (€29bn; £20bn) and $42bn.

Forsee, appointed ceo of Sprint in 2003, oversaw its less-than-successful merger with Nextel two years ago.

He was also key to the telco's development of WiMax, a $5bn fast data network to extend Sprint Nextel's reach beyond cellphones to computers and cameras. Investors have been cool towards what they regard as unproven technology.

Following Forsee's immediate departure, cfo Paul Saleh has taken on the ceo's role until a permanent successor is found. Board member James Hance will serve as acting chairman.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff