Marcelo Claure

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Marcelo Claure
Marcelo Claure
Born (1970-12-09) December 9, 1970 (age 47)
La Paz, Bolivia
Residence Kansas City, Kansas
Nationality Bolivian American
Alma mater Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts
Occupation Executive Chairman of Sprint Corporation, COO of Softbank Group
Spouse(s) Jordan Engard

Marcelo Claure is a Bolivian-American businessman and executive chairman and former CEO of Sprint Corporation. He was succeeded in the role of CEO by industry veteran, Michel Combes. He also serves as COO of SoftBank Group. He is also a wireless industry distribution entrepreneur and co-founder of Brightstar Corp.[1] Since its founding in 1997, Brightstar has grown into an enterprise with $10.5 billion in gross revenue, with local presence in approximately 50 countries, on six continents. On August 5, 2014, he was selected to replace Dan Hesse as CEO of Sprint Corporation (Effective August 11, 2014). The announcement was made on August 6, 2014, coinciding with Bolivia's independence day.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

He spent two years living in Guatemala, his family moved to Morocco and then to the Dominican Republic before returning home to La Paz, Bolivia, where he spent most of his childhood. He attended the American Cooperative School in La Paz, graduating in 1989. Later that year, he left La Paz to attend what was then the University of Lowell, in Lowell, Massachusetts. He subsequently transferred to Bentley University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance.[4]

Business career[edit]

After graduation, Claure returned to La Paz and joined the Bolivian Football Federation as International Marketing Manager.

In 1995, he returned to the United States and bought USA Wireless, a cellular retailer. He grew and expanded the company before selling it one year later.[5] In 1996, Claure became President of Small World Communications, a California-based communications and distribution company.[6] He led the company for two years before re-locating to Florida to start Brightstar in 1997.[5]


Brightstar was founded in Miami in 1997, as a distributor and service provider to the wireless industry with a focus on the Latin American market. The company opened offices in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and the Caribbean. In 2000, the company entered distribution agreement with Motorola for all of Latin America. This was followed by the launch of subsidiaries in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and El Salvador. A US Brightstar subsidiary opened in 2001, based in Chicago, and later expanded into Asia, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Brightstar operates in approximately 50 countries and all six continents around the globe. Forbes Magazine recognized it as one of the largest privately held companies in the US, listing it 55th in 2013.[7] Inc. Magazine identified Brightstar as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., placing it sixth in its annual Inc. 500/5000 listing in 2009.[8] It has also been recognized by as the largest Hispanic-owned business in the U.S. in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.[9]

On October 18, 2013, Brightstar Corp. ("Brightstar") and SOFTBANK CORP. ("SoftBank") (TSE: 9984) announced a definitive agreement for SoftBank to invest $1.26 billion in Brightstar. (The transaction closed in January 2014.)

In December 2013, Brightstar announced plans to acquire 20:20 Mobile in Europe. The transaction closed in February 2014 and Brightstar now owns facilities in the UK, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, providing products and services across 13 European countries.[10]

Also, in February 2014, Brightstar announced plans to acquire the Commerce & Services Division of SoftBank Group. The transaction closed in April 2014 and as a result Brightstar became the primary global distributor for the SoftBank Selection brand mobile products, which feature more than 765 mobile accessories. The new company is expected to grow Brightstar’s presence in Japan and increase the company’s revenues by $3 billion on an annualized basis.[11]


Claure became Sprint Corporation President and CEO on Aug. 11, 2014, and has served on the Sprint board of directors since January 2014. He is also a member of the board of directors of SoftBank Group, as well as the board of Arm, a leading chip technology developer.[12]


Claure is chairman of CTIA.[13]

Football and Club Bolivar[edit]

In 2008, Claure created BAISA (Bolivar Administracion, Inversiones y Servicios Asociados, S.R.L.), to acquire and operate Club Bolivar, the most popular soccer Club in Bolivia and the ninth-ranked team in Latin America.[14]

Claure has also previously served on FIFA's (Federation Internationale de Football Association's) Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility.[15]

In 2018, Claure - along with David Beckham (global soccer icon); Simon Fuller (entertainment entrepreneur and manager); Jorge and Jose Mas (leaders of Miami-based telecom and construction giant MasTec); and Masayoshi Son (visionary technologist and founder and CEO of SoftBank Group) – were awarded a Major League Franchise for Miami, Florida. MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced the expansion team on January 29 in a ceremony at The Arsht Center. The event was transmitted on live TV and attended by over 1700 people including athletes, fans, celebrities, local and international business leaders, political figures and members of the national and international media. [16]

Miami’s new futbol team will play in a privately-financed, 25,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium in downtown Miami. The stadium will be designed by Populous and is expected to be built by 2021. [17]

Awards and recognition[edit]

World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader.[18] Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and lifetime member of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame.[6] Hispanic Businessman of the Year by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Global Telecoms Business "Forty Under Forty" Leaders;[19] Hispanic Business Magazine, Entrepreneur of the Year;[20] Hispanic Magazine, Top Hispanic Entrepreneurs; LISTA, CEO of the Year; América Economía, Award of Excellence; PODER Magazine, Top Hispanic Entrepreneur; BN Americas, Hall of Fame; Wall Street Journal, CEO Council Member[21] and The Group of Fifty (G-50) Member.

Personal life[edit]

Claure married in 2005 and together, the couple have three daughters. He also has two children from a previous marriage.

Claure is Catholic.[22]


Together with Nicholas Negroponte, he is a founding member of One Laptop Per Child, an organization focused on empowering the world's poorest children through education by providing them with a rugged low-cost laptop.[23]

In an effort to help high school students across the U.S. reach their full potential, Marcelo created the 1Million Project. Sprint Corporation will connect up to 1 million disadvantaged students who lack the internet access they need at home to complete their homework, search for jobs and apply to college. Each participating student will receive a device and free high-speed internet access for up to four years. [24]


  1. ^ "About Brightstar – Corporate Governance/Leadership Team". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Knutson, Ryan; Mattioli, Dana (August 5, 2014). "Sprint Abandons Pursuit of T-Mobile, Replaces CEO". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Brightstar Media Page". Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Hispanic Business, June 2007. "Hispanic Business, Shining Through" Derek Reveron". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Hispanic Business, June 2007 ."Hispanic Business, Shining Through" Derek Reveron". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "EDGAR Online". 
  7. ^ "Forbes America's Largest Private Companies 2013". 
  8. ^ "Inc. 5000". 
  9. ^ "Hispanic Business Top 500 Hispanic Businesses". Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Brightstar Completes Acquisition of 20:20 Mobile Group in Europe". 
  11. ^ "Brightstar Expands Business with Acquisition of the Commerce & Services Division of SoftBank Corp". 
  12. ^ "Sprint Elevates Marcelo Claure To Executive Chairman And Appoints Michel Combes as CEO". 
  13. ^
  14. ^ ""Bolívar Administración e Inversiones S.A. BAISA September 2008". 
  15. ^ ""World Economic Forum: Marcelo Claure". 
  16. ^ ""Miami's Day Finally Comes For David Beckham, Partners And Fans As MLS Names 25th Team". 
  17. ^ ""Beckham's Miami soccer team has been a dream for years. The reality may be days away". 
  18. ^ "The World Economic Forum". 
  19. ^ "Global Telecoms Business 'Forty Under Forty' Leaders 2010". 
  20. ^ "Hispanic Business Magazine". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Wall Street Journal CEO Council". 
  22. ^ "Marcelo's moment: Saving Sprint is biggest challenge of Claure's already impressive life". Retrieved January 31, 2018. 
  23. ^ "About the Project-People-Founding Members". 
  24. ^ "Sprint Provides Free Wireless Devices and Service to 1 Million Disadvantaged Students".