John Legere really wants to find a new job. The former T-Mobile CEO fully departed the company on Friday, more than a month before he was scheduled to in order to pursue new opportunities. The end of an era has come for T-Mobile.
Early departure as CEO and now Board
During the final months of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, Legere announced that he would depart the company by first stepping down as CEO and let COO Mike Sievert take over. The original date for that move was supposed to be May 1, just as his current contract ended. Instead, with the merger finalized on April 1, Legere stepped down from CEO almost a month early to get the merger off to a fresh start from day 1.
Now, after suggesting he would stay on the T-Mobile Board of Directors for a couple of months, Legere has departed as he looks for the next company he can lead. Legere said in an SEC filing specifically that this move was to “pursue other options” and that he was “not resigning because of any disagreement with management or the Board on any matter.”
What’s next for Legere?
If he has something lined up, he has done an incredible job of keeping it a secret. Last November, there was a rumor suggesting he may lead WeWork as they were transitioning away from their founder and looking for a savior. He pretty quickly denied that he was going to WeWork, but did announce he would step down as CEO of T-Mobile at that time.
His in-your-face, don’t-care-if-I-offend-anyone approach to management at T-Mobile certainly helped turn the previously-struggling carrier around. He forced a lot of change in an industry that was stuck in a 2-year phone and service model that customers hated. Dubbed “Uncarrier” because of the supposedly anti-carrier ideas he pushed, Legere led T-Mobile through a number of quarters (if not years) in a row of customer growth in the millions.
I’d imagine he’ll try a similar approach wherever he ends up next.
T-Mobile will go on
If you are worried that Legere leaving means big changes at T-Mobile, you probably haven’t been paying attention. Mike Sievert, who is now CEO, has been alongside Legere from the beginning and will likely continue pushing a similar approach to being a wireless carrier. I don’t know that Sievert will bring as much PG-13 chatter to Twitter and press events, but a lot of what T-Mobile has done to get to today is likely (at least in-part) because of him.
And as we mentioned earlier in the week, T-Mobile is already starting to show customers what can be done with their merger with Sprint. They have begun firing up their mid-band 5G network for T-Mobile customers and started letting Sprint customers get on T-Mobile’s LTE network. This is only the beginning of a time where T-Mobile will finally be able to go after Verizon in a bigger way.
Whatever John Legere does, I’m sure we’ll know as I don’t expect him to perform in any sort of quiet manner, but you shouldn’t worry about where T-Mobile goes from here. Well, for at least 3 years anyway.