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NII Holdings dismisses Brazil unit president

NII Holdings, which operates under the Nextel brand across Latin America, dismissed the president of its Brazilian operations, Sergio Borges Chaia. The company noted that NII’s COO Gokul Hemmady, current Nextel Brazil COO Claudio Hidalgo and the “local leadership team” will oversee the unit’s operations until a successor is named.

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In a statement, NII Holdings’ CEO Steve Dussek said that company has decided to move forward in a new direction to ensure Nextel Brazil is able to execute on its goals and deliver results. The division is set to launch a 3G network by year end.

The carrier recently launched 3G service across Peru, Chile and Mexico. Earlier this year financial analysts noted that Nextel’s 3G plans could cause the carrier to become lost in a sea of rival 3G offerings that have already launched in many markets. Nextel’s unique push-to-talk service could also suffer as it is already struggling from a lack of compelling devices geared toward an increasingly smartphone-savvy public.

Earlier this month, NII Holdings announced plans to cut about 20% of its workforce at its headquarters in Reston, Va, as well as a reassigning select positions located at its headquarters to its operations in Latin America. NII said it expects to incur one-time costs in the fourth quarter of approximately $8 million related to the headcount reduction.

For the third quarter, NII posted a 44% year-over-year decrease in its consolidated operating income before depreciation and amortization to $218 million. The company also posted a 15% year-over-year increase in operating revenues to $1.49 billion.


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