Former Walmart comms VP Tovar joins Sprint one year after resumé discrepancy

Sprint created Tovar's VP of corporate communications role as part of the company's turnaround strategy.

OVERLAND PARK, KS: Sprint has hired David Tovar as VP of corporate communications, almost one year after he resigned from his comms VP role at Walmart due to a resumé discrepancy.

Tovar, who joined Sprint on July 22, reports to the company’s SVP of corporate communications Doug Michelman. He is relocating his family from Arkansas to Kansas for the position.

At Sprint, Tovar has oversight of the media team and will manage the company’s issues management and crisis communications, CEO comms, and wireless industry analyst relations.

"Sprint is in turnaround and it is going to be an uphill battle for sure, but an exciting challenge, nonetheless," he told PRWeek. "I don’t like things easy; I want to dive into difficult environments."

Tovar is not directly replacing anyone in the position. Michelman explained that the role was created as Sprint’s communications function restructures to be "more responsive to new leadership at the company and the turnaround situation that Sprint faces today."

Last August, Marcelo Claure took the helm at Sprint, as the company’s CEO and president. He brought on Michelman in December.

"We are transforming different parts of the company in an effort to be more competitive in the wireless space," said Michelman. "The communications function isn’t immune to that transformation, so I have reorganized and restructured the department, and I am bringing in new talent."

In an earnings report this week, Sprint showed better-than-estimated results for the first quarter and a third consecutive rise in subscribers. After seven years of customer losses, the return to user growth is one of the new CEO’s primary goals. However, the company dropped from being the third player to number four in the industry, behind T-Mobile, in Q1.

Last September, Tovar exited his role as Walmart’s communications VP, after the retailer found out that he had not received a diploma from the University of Delaware, the school from which he claimed to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1996.

After leaving Walmart, he contacted the university straight away and earned his degree this February.

Tovar joined Walmart in 2006 as director of media relations. In 2007, he was promoted to senior director of media relations. Tovar moved into his most recent role, leading the company’s communications team, in 2011.

Greg Hitt, SVP and US crisis practice leader at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, was tapped to succeed Tovar as VP of corporate communications in June.

Prior to Walmart, Tovar served as director of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Foods. Before that, he was district director of state government affairs for Altria.

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