Standing as perhaps one of the biggest twists in the technology industry this year, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has announced he’ll be leaving his position as chief executive officer next year. The Magenta-repping long-haired leader of the third largest U.S. carrier says he’ll be leaving his position on May 1st, 2020, the same day Mike Sievert, the company’s president and COO, will take on the role of CEO.
This is a surprise, to say the least. When T-Mobile announced it would be merging with Sprint, Legere announced he’d be CEO of the conjoined conglomerate. But that won’t be happening, as Sievert will be filling the roll instead. It just felt like we’d have John for at least a few more years, especially because the “New T-Mobile” would likely have to get its footing after the merger.
Speaking of which, T-Mobile expects the merger to close in early 2020. Sievert’s contract allows him to leave the company if he doesn’t become CEO within six months of the closing, but there’s a good chance he’ll fill the role anyway since the merger will likely close successfully. Plus, Legere’s contract is up on April 30th, and somebody will need to fill his spot when he leaves.
So what will happen when Legere steps down as CEO? As odd as it sounds, it’s really unclear. Sievert is a much more formal leader compared to Legere who’s a much more radical force in the industry. You can tell by judging his wardrobe, language, and even his hair. He’s not a cookie-cutter CEO by any means, and it’s likely that Sievert will take on a few similar traits in order to keep T-Mobile running at full speed.
Y’know, besides the long hair, bad language, and “closet full of only magenta t-shirts” thing.
That being said, Sievert has his own way of doing business, and I would anticipate to see some of that play out throughout the company. The marketing will be the most noticeable. If future advertisements and hype videos from the company aren’t as playful, childish, or down-right trash talk fueled, you’ll have Sievert to thank for it. He simply has his own way of doing things, making him a different beast compared to Legere.
One thing that’s bee promised to continue is T-Mobile’s Uncarrier strategy. Legere says Sievert will carry that on once he leaves his CEO role, and he had some nice stuff to say about him in a statement.
“I hired Mike in 2012 and I have great confidence in him. I have mentored him as he took on increasingly broad responsibilities, and he is absolutely the right choice as T-Mobile’s next CEO,” said John Legere. “Mike is well prepared to lead T-Mobile into the future. He has a deep understanding of where T-Mobile has been and where it needs to go to remain the most innovative company in the industry. I am extremely proud of the culture and enthusiasm we have built around challenging the status quo and our ongoing commitment to putting customers first. Together, these attributes have distinguished T-Mobile in the marketplace and on Wall Street, giving us a powerful business advantage that is instilled throughout every level of T-Mobile. I am confident it will thrive under Mike’s leadership.”
Notably, Legere won’t be leaving T-Mobile entirely. Alongside seeing the Sprint merger through, Legere will also stay on the board at the carrier. At least we won’t be losing all of the craziness he brought to the company over the past few years.
“In the months ahead, my focus will be on ensuring a smooth leadership transition and continuing to work closely with the Board and Mike to complete the Sprint transaction,” added John Legere. “This merger will create the New T-Mobile – a company that is uniquely positioned to continue disrupting the wireless category – and beyond. This marks the beginning of a dynamic new chapter for T-Mobile.”
“I am very grateful to Tim and the Board for this exciting opportunity to lead T-Mobile into the future,” commented Mike Sievert. “I personally want to thank John for all he has done for me and for the T-Mobile brand, our customers, employees, partners, and investors. John is a one-of-a-kind, visionary leader who has redefined the role of CEO and demonstrated how to use it to create positive change for customers, employees, and investors alike. I have been fortunate to work together with him to build T-Mobile’s purpose-driven strategy to address customer pain points, an approach that has been the foundation for our unprecedented growth.”
“The Un-carrier culture, which all our employees live every day, will not change,” continued Mike Sievert. “T-Mobile is not just about one individual. Our company is built around an extraordinarily capable management team and thousands of talented, committed, and customer-obsessed employees. Going forward, my mission is to build on T-Mobile’s industry-leading reputation for empowering employees to deliver an outstanding customer experience and to position T-Mobile not only as the leading mobile carrier, but as one of the most admired companies in America.”