T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who has led the carrier for the past seven years, announced this morning he will leave that position on May 1, 2020. Mike Sievert, who is currently T-Mobile’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will take over from Legere as both President and CEO on that date. Legere will remain as a board member of T-Mobile.
In a post on his Twitter account, Legere stated that this decision has been in the works “for a long time.” He added in T-Mobile’s official press release that Sievert is “is well prepared to lead T-Mobile into the future.” For his part, Sievert stated that “the Un-carrier culture, which all our employees live every day, will not change” under his leadership.
Previous to taking over as T-Mobile CEO, John Legere worked in executive positions at AT&T and Dell. He was CEO of Global Crossing, a telecommunications company, from 2001 to 2011, when it was acquired by Level 3 Communications. He was named as T-Mobile CEO in September 2012.
John Legere and the “Un-carrier” era of T-Mobile
During his time as T-Mobile CEO, John Legere launched a number of changes to the carrier’s plans and services, under its “Un-carrier” initiatives. They included ditching phone contracts in favor of financing headsets, along with allowing customers to trade in certain phones early for faster upgrades. It also added free access to Netflix for certain subscribers and “T-Mobile Tuesday” rewards like free or discounted movie tickets.
Those efforts and others caused more people to sign up for T-Mobile. During Legere’s tenure as CEO, T-Mobile’s subscriber numbers caused it to go up from the fourth to the third-largest wireless carrier in the US, ahead of Sprint. It currently has 84.2 million customers.
What this means for the T-Mobile-Sprint merger
In March 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans to merge the two carriers, which would then be called just T-Mobile. However, the deal’s closing has been delayed many times. Earlier this year, both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission announced they would approve the merger. The problem is that a group of State Attorneys General filed a multi-state lawsuit against the deal. They claim the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would cut out competition in the wireless phone space.
Legere and T-Mobile have announced a number of plans to provide better pricing and service for customers if the merger with Sprint goes through. T-Mobile has pledged to offer a $15 a month plan with unlimited talk and text, and 2GB of high-speed data if the merger is approved. It has also pledged to offer free wireless home internet access for 10 million qualifying households for five years. It also says it will offer free 5G plans to all first responders for at least 10 years.
Legere stated in a Twitter post that between now and May 1, he will work with T-Mobile to enable both a “smooth transition and getting our merger with Sprint done.” In a conference call with analysts, Legere stated that the company’s talks with the AGs have been going well, and have also been talking with labor leaders about the company’s jobs situation. It would seem that Legere is determined to make this deal happen before he leaves as CEO. So far, Legere has not stated what he plans to do after he leaves his CEO position.
The man who will succeed Legere, Mike Sievert, will certainly have a ton of work ahead of him, regardless of if the merger happens or not. He came on board T-Mobile as chief marketing officer in 2012, and was later promoted to COO in 2015, and added President to his titles in 2018.
It’s not just the T-Mobile CEO position that’s changing
In addition to T-Mobile CEO John Legere leaving in May 2020, the carrier also announced other changes in its executive team. In a conference call with financial analysts, it was revealed that the company’s chief technology officer Neville Ray will now have the title of President of Technology. Also, the carrier’s current chief financial officer Braxton Carter, revealed that he will remain at T-Mobile until at least July 1, 2020.