How T-Mobile CEO John Legere is using speed and surprise to outwit ‘stupid and slow’ rivals

T-Mobile CEO John Legere. (T-Mobile Photo)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere. (T-Mobile Photo)

We’ve been watching with a bit of amazement as T-Mobile CEO John Legere repositions the one-time struggling carrier, rebranding the company and injecting a fierce competitive spirit.

Now, The New York Times profiles the hard-charging 55 year-old exec, a marathon runner who happens to be in a full sprint in his efforts to upend the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

Legere, a former Global Crossing CEO who joined T-Mobile 14 months ago, is known for using salty language to describe the state of the wireless industry, and even the tech press.

In The New York Times profile, Legere notes that “speed has become one of our biggest weapons.”

“The current industry is arrogant, stupid and slow, which gives companies like T-Mobile a competitive advantage,” says Legere, who later goes on to call the wireless business a “ridiculous and broken industry.”

But it’s not just speed that Legere is using to boost the stock and regain subscribers, adding more than one million net subscribers last quarter. They are also using surprise, rolling out new offerings as part of the “Uncarrier” strategy.

“Surprise is an effective competitive tactic. When you catch the competition by surprise, keep punching and don’t let them up. When you have momentum, keep building it by delivering unexpected offers in rapid succession. Our team is loving it. They are breaking boundaries and getting to use all of their creativity. That’s pretty cool.”

The NYT profile also discusses how one executive can impose his will on a company, and truly lead in a colorful and creative way through challenging turnarounds.

As Microsoft searches for the next CEO, one has to ask: Is there a John Legere-type exec who can help the software giant regain its mojo?

Of course, Legere, known for his Twitter musings, didn’t let The New York Times’ piece go without some comment.

  • http://www.intrinsicstrategy.com/ FrankCatalano

    Well, he hooked me. I just dropped Verizon Wireless after having been a customer since 2000 (having dropped AT&T before that). So far, the simplicity of the plans is refreshing, and the Seattle coverage is good for both voice and data.

  • boop

    I just switched from AT&T to T-Mobile and have to say the experience was far from seamless. In fact, it was a bit of a hassle.
    As far as speed is concerned, I have not noticed pages load faster. Still, the lower monthly cost and the ability to pay month to month will probably ensure I will stick with T-Mobile.

  • qtpi

    This is funny since I consider T-Mobile to be amongst the most ‘stupid’ and ‘slow’ cellular companies. It seems that service that works is not the company’s highest priority.

  • chad

    T mobile is he’ll a fast I have gotten a speed test of 69.3 mbps.