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T-Mobile CEO John Legere on crushing rivals, shaking up the industry, and talking s**t

Zach Epstein
January 22nd, 2014 at 11:09 AM
John Legere Interview

If there’s one thing T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO loves to do, it’s swear up a storm while talking to the media and while speaking during T-Mobile’s recent press conferences. But beyond that, Legere also clearly loves shaking up the U.S. wireless industry and stealing his rivals’ subscribers in the process. Looking past the executive’s big talk, T-Mobile is delivering, having added 4.4 million net new subscribers over the past year. In a recent interview with NPR, Legere discussed T-Mobile’s success, the state of the industry, his love of profanity, Macklemore, and even a potential Sprint takeover bid.

“We are either going to take over this whole industry, or these a**holes are going to change,” Legere told NPR. “The whole industry is going to shift, and we will still be highly successful. And I don’t give a s**t [if it’s] either one of those things because we’re going to win and that’s a lot of fun.”

The CEO went on to ensure the world that he is not crazy, as some have suggested. He knows exactly what he’s doing and says his company needs the edge that his public persona has given it.

But in a clear reversal from Legere, his responses to questions about a possible Sprint merger have gone from slamming the carrier on stage during T-Mobile’s recent Uncarrier 4.0 event to suggesting that a Sprint takeover might not be so bad after all.

Legere said that the most important thing for the industry is that there’s a “maverick” carrier out there shaking things up. If Sprint and T-Mobile were to merge, the executive says that would only make the maverick carrier stronger — as long as he’s the one in charge.

“I just know that what I’ve got – myself, my leadership team, my company, my brand, the growth – is one of the biggest missing things in the industry,” Legere said. “So if I was Masayoshi Son and I was interested in T-Mobile, I would say, you know, I got to – I like what they do.”

The full interview is embedded below.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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