Can Fared Adib make Sprint Nextel hip? A trained engineer who cut his teeth at IBM and Sun Microsystems, Adib, 35, is now focused on creating a great user experience for Sprint's customers. That means aggressively seeking exclusive partnerships with handset makers (especially since Sprint doesn't offer Apple's iPhone). In June of 2010, Adib's product team released the first U.S. phone for the next-gen 4G network, HTC EVO 4G. Early this year Sprint launched the Kyocera Echo, the industry's first dual-touchscreen smartphone, followed by the first 3-D phone in the U.S.
Adib also pays close attention to the growing mobile software ecosystem. He has hundreds of apps on his phones and regularly visits Silicon Valley to learn what the industry's hottest startups are up to. "I think Fared does a great job of evaluating the thousands of ideas that come at him, filtering them down and helping develop and launch those services and products," says Citigroup mobile solutions czar Omar Khan, who worked with Adib when Khan was head of product at Samsung. "He's always looking for the win-win opportunity, and that makes people want to work with him."
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