Colorful T-Mobile CEO leaving, even as Sprint deal not done

Tuesday, 19 Nov, 2019

John Legere, after more than seven years at the helm of T-Mobile and leading the takeover of rival carrier Sprint, will resign as CEO next May. In addition, over the past two years he has worked closely with Legere on T-Mobile's merger planning, integration, and regulatory approval initiatives. Legere has created a legacy for himself as a driving force behind T-Mobile's transformation from a wireless also-ran to a major player in the market, shaking up what he called a "stupid, broken, arrogant industry".

The $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint will produce a larger No. 3 competitor to USA wireless leaders AT&T and Verizon. "John taught everyone at T-Mobile that if you listen to customers and empower employees, you can change a culture - and by doing so - change a company and an entire industry". Having the deal done would be a crowning achievement for Legere as he steps down as CEO. T-Mobile shares fell 1.9% in premarket trade and are up 23% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%. At the end of 2012, T-Mobile US and MetroPCS Communications merged to create a consolidated fourth player with more spectrum, scale and investment potential.

WeWork is in desperate need of a CEO that can turn its ship around, and believes that Legere could be the one to do just that.

Legere was in talks with WeWork to take the CEO job at that company, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

"I'm not going anywhere soon", Legere said in a tweet on Monday, while sharing a link to an article that detailed new T-Mobile's 5G roadmap.

"Legere restored the company to growth after years of struggle, but [Sievert] has been groomed for the role and is quite capable, in our view". "This marks the beginning of a dynamic new chapter for T-Mobile".

In terms of Plan B if the deal doesn't go through, Sievert said the company would return to its familiar strategy, including potential stock buybacks and looking into the marketplace for "other opportunities for spectrum".

T-Mobile slid as much as 2.2% to $76.33 in NY trading. "I'm going to be that insane guy outside the shareholder meeting, who may happen to own 5 percent of the stock".