Trending: Amazon narrows HQ2 search to 20 cities, moving to next phase in contest for $5B economic prize

René Obermann and John Legere

It’s probably a good thing that T-Mobile USA’s newly-appointed CEO is a competitive marathon runner. After all, the Bellevue wireless carrier is in a distant fourth place, and it will need some serious closing speed to catch rivals Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

To help close the gap, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent, announced today that John Legere has taken over the CEO reins. A 32-year veteran of the telecommunications business, Legere is a Massachusetts native who previously served as CEO of Global Crossing.

The 54-year-old takes over the only U.S. carrier without the iPhone, and a business that remains in a state of transition after AT&T’s $39 billion bid fell apart under regulatory issues late last year.

John Legere

“T-Mobile is taking a number of significant steps to revitalize the business and I look forward to leading our team and partners to accelerate these efforts to become a force in our industry,” said Legere in a press release. Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann added that he looked forward to Legere turning the company into a “stronger competitor.”

Legere, who previously held executive roles at Dell and AT&T, will start at the company this Saturday. As a result of the appointment, interim CEO Jim Alling will return to the role of COO. T-Mobile lost CEO Philipp Humm to Vodafone in June.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Legere has raised more than $1.2 million for cancer research as part of his participation in eight Boston Marathon races.

The big question is: Can he get T-Mobile back in the race?

Here’s Legere addressing the troops, noting that a new lean organizational structure will allow T-Mobile to “level the playing field with value players, and steal share from the premium players.” He added that the primary goal is to “improve the competitiveness of T-Mobile,” getting customers into stores and making sure they choose the carrier over the competition. Sounds like a new race has begun.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

IT AssociateIndivisible Project
Crowdsourcing EngineerThe Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2)
Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.