T-Mobile CEO John Legere rocked the house at the GeekWire Summit yesterday with his unique brand of brash, profane and outspoken insights into the wireless industry. He held court on all kinds of matters, from the iPhone 6’s alleged problems with bending, to the continued acquisition rumors that swirl around his company, and whether T-Mobile will ever merge with another firm.
Check out the full video of his interview with GeekWire Co-Founders John Cook and Todd Bishop above (fair warning, the audio contains a lot of swearing) and read some hilarious and insightful selections from his talk below.
On a potential acquisition offer from French telecommunication giant Iliad (Minute 5:05):
“I can tell you everything you need to know about Iliad. The owner is wealthy, he’s got long hair, he made his money in porn and his wife is the heir to Louis Vuitton money. I mean, shit, what else do you need to know?”
On acquisition rumors in general (Minute 5:50):
“We have rumors about rumors. There’s a rumor that the rumor that they were going to make an offer for T-Mobile, that the rumor was it was rejected, the rumor was they’re gonna make a bigger offer, and it’s just craziness. We have been subject to this, we will be subject to this for the foreseeable future, and I can give you a list this long of who would salivate to find something with T-Mobile.
“My strategy has been to continue to grow, and focus on what we’re doing. I don’t want my employees getting their heads on sideways – they still have PTSD from when AT&T tried to buy them. I appreciate the $5 billion that they gave me which I then used to invest in our network to now beat them. Which is really, it’s a tough strategy to execute, but, you know, it works.”
On whether or not T-Mobile needs to consolidate (Minute 8:00):
“Listen, 5 quarters, our net additions of customers was 7.6 million. We’re probably at 8 million this year. It’s the good old-fashioned way of continuing to grow and drive. The network’s performing, customer service is (ranked number 1 by J.D. Power and Associates), all that stuff. So yes, we can be a very profitable, growing company.
“The trick, though, is that it’s a scale industry. And I was always clear: yeah, if you had thought about putting Sprint and T-Mobile together, you’d have immediate scale. It would be something good. You know, so long as you called it T-Mobile and I ran it, it would be successful. Any other version of that yellow school bus would crash right into the f—ing wall. So, those are variations, but yeah, we could have a successful business, or we could consolidate.”
On the iPhone 6’s bending problems (Minute 20:15):
“That is such horses—t. Listen, what the f—k‚ did you need to see? The video of the guy that’s doing this, and if you could have seen his face he probably would have been purple and the veins are coming out of his fingers. And the thing moves a little bit? Are you sh—ing me?”
“This is an amazing supercomputer in your hand. What the f– are you putting it in your pants and sitting on it for? Seriously. You know what, those nine people who sat on their phones, first of all, they need jeans that fit them a little better.
“Let me help you about bendgate or whatever it was. It’s not slowing down demand. The demand for these devices in the last few weeks is unbelievable.”
On the Amazon Fire phone (Minute 26:17):
“It was the day before one of my events, and I only took a few interviews and said a few things. I didn’t pablum, I didn’t go ‘Oh my god, I think it’s beautiful Jeff (Bezos), I can’t believe it.’ What I said is, I said: Yeah, I don’t know one of those things that’s really good is that you can point this at something, and it’ll tell you what you’re looking at. And I said, I usually f—ing know what I’m looking at, except on Friday nights, when I don’t give a sh—t what the phone tells me, I’m not going to know what I’m looking at, and I don’t really want to know.”
Those are just a few of the highlights from the 45-minute talk. Check out the full video above.