Company President and COO Mike Sievert to assume the role.
T-Mobile announced CEO John Legere will step down at the end of April 2020, according to The New York Times and multiple news outlets. Legere was expected to lead the new T-Mobile-Sprint venture after the merger was completed. Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Legere and is expected to lead the new company.
“This move has been under development for a long time and I couldn’t be more confident in the future of T-Mobile under (Sievert’s) leadership,” Legere said on Twitter this week. “I’m not going anywhere soon. This is all part of the a multi-year plan and until April 30, I’ll continue as CEO, focusing on a smooth transition and getting our merger with Sprint done for America.”
“John Legere has had an enormously successful run as CEO,” Tim Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO, and Chairman of the Board of T-Mobile US said in a statement. “As the architect of the Un-carrier strategy and the company’s complete transformation, John has put T-Mobile US in an incredibly strong position. I have the highest respect for his performance as a manager and as a friend, I am very grateful to him for the time together. 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.”
Sievert’s ready to take the reigns
Sievert worked with Legere for the last seven years to help turn T-Mobile into market’s fastest-growing wireless provider. Sievert also led T-Mobile as it designed and executed 16 Un-carrier “moves” that helped define the company. As President and COO, Sievert also leads all of T-Mobile’s marketing and product, retail, sales and customer support groups for the company’s segments and brands. He also worked alongside Legere during the last two years on T-Mobile’s merger planning with Sprint.
“I hired Mike in 2012 and I have great confidence in him,” Legere said in a statement. “I have mentored him as he took on increasingly broad responsibilities, and he is absolutely the right choice as T-Mobile’s next CEO. 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 very grateful to Tim and the Board for this exciting opportunity to lead T-Mobile into the future,” Sievert said. “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.”
One merger hurdle remains
Legere’s enthusiasm was a driving force in T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, according to The New York Times. Legere used social media to discuss the merger plan. He also lobbied lawmakers and regulators to get the $26 billion merger approved. His efforts appeared to have helped move the transaction forward. The Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission approved the merger after T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell portions of their respective businesses to Dish Network as it tries to create a new wireless company.
Legere and T-Mobile’s work is not done yet, however. The company still faces a lawsuit from a group of state attorneys general who want to block the deal out of concern the T-Mobile-Sprint merger will create competitive imbalance in the industry. The deal will remain on hold until the lawsuit is resolved.
“We’re planning to win, as you know and we’re increasingly confident as we get closer to the trial,” Legere said during a conference call this week. “(T-Mobile’s main focus) is on getting this deal done and building this new company, unlocking this massive capacity on the network and the massive synergies that follow from that capacity expansion.”