Bloomberg: John Legere likely to be CEO of combined Sprint/T-Mobile if deal goes ahead

john-legere-twitter-t-mobile-ceo-ces-2014-uncarrier-plans

According to yet another report mentioning the hot topic of the month – Sprint and T-Mobile merging – our enthusiastic CEO, John Legere is likely to remain in charge of the merged company. Bloomberg reports that as negotiations continue, and all the fine details are put in place, John Legere is becoming “increasingly” responsible “for the prospects of an enlarged company.” 

John Legere, the chief executive officer of T-Mobile who’s known for wearing company-branded shirts and taunting his competitors on Twitter, is likely to run the combined company, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

As for what will become of Dan Hesse, the man in charge of operating Sprint currently, is yet to be seen. It’s highly unlikely that both men will be kept on. And – although Hesse hasn’t done a terrible job running Sprint, moving it from being a “broken” company in 2007 to making it attractive enough for sale last year – it pales in comparison to the impact Legere has had on T-Mobile’s fortunes and the state of the total U.S. market in his comparatively short time in charge.

If this deal is going through, and it gets passed all the regulatory steps, it’d be most pleasing for us if T-Mobile kept its brand, its popular Un-Carrier message, its Un-CEO and its break-neck rollout of networks.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • bdbman

    Legere or the new company will fail.

    • VIDGMER

      why’s that?

  • TechHog

    It doesn’t matter who leads it if the company is still named Sprint.

    • IamDefiler

      Should be named SprinT-Mobile

      • Nick Gonzalez

        T-Mint

        • Cam Bunton

          T-Mint would be fantastic.. but would that mean switching from magenta to a horrible pale green livery?

        • xmiro

          and then get sued by Cricket for using green as their color and creating confusion

        • Nick Gonzalez

          Good point!

      • Nick

        S-Mobile

        • VIDGMER

          S(hyt)-Mobile. lol

    • Jeremiah McCurry

      Softbank USA, the #Uncarrier

  • UncleFan

    LOL… this is gonna be the most expensive “aqui-hire” ever.

    • Zexel

      The problem would be sprint customers who refuse to switch over to tmobiles network. They can offer them the same plans but they will need new phones.

  • Eric Hare

    I really hope they also keep T-Mobile’s branding. Imagine John Legere as the CEO of the new Sprint. Bleh.

    Great news, nonetheless!

  • S. Ali

    I’m really hoping a joint venture is what they are really working on, a merger is a waste of time.

    • Paul

      I’m leaning towards that direction as well, but I’m sure the FCC will see it as a conflict of interest.

      • philyew

        What about if Softbank held 49% of TM? I wonder how that would work…

        None of the latest rumors support this idea, but I might be more amenable to a JV approach.

        • Paul

          They’d have to NOT have a controling or majority in the company. As you said, it’s not what the rumors support. I think it’d still be seen as a conflict, but we don’t know if there are other details to the deal.

  • RefarmAllPCSnowPlease

    Also keep Neville Ray!

    • k

      Neville, Neville, Neville!!!!! Yup, gotta keep this guy. He makes it happen.

  • Adrayven

    I won’t trust the rumors on who is in charge.. could just as easily be a trojan horse to minimize market complaints.. Then we’d end up with Hesse.. you watch…

    • turtle6988

      They can merge the networks together like they have been with MetroPCS. More than 50% of the Metro Customers are on T-Mobile’s network

  • ClaudeD

    I hope they use GSM technology and keep John Legere as CEO. If no GSM, I will be leaving.

    • easyxtarget

      Nobody would chose to not use GSM at this point in time.

      • Jeremiah McCurry

        Sprint has a much more extensive network in Southwest Texas, Northern Wisconsin, Northern & Central Michigan, and Iowa. They will have to be willing to keep Sprint’s network running long enough to build out, or just let those customers go.

        • Zexel

          They can always just modify the existing towers to support tmobiles bands?

      • ClaudeD

        Japan and Korea markets are mainly CDMA. Soft Bank is Japanese, but they are GSM and CDMA in Japan. There is a risk they could go CDMA.

        • TechHog

          CDMA is also more profitable and forces commitment… It’s over.

        • UMA_Fan

          Not exactly considering all the international travelers who require prepaid service

        • Zexel

          Yup if they switch to CDMA they will lose every customer who needs GSM roaming. CDMA was better for a short time but GSM is light years ahead now.

        • UMA_Fan

          And would be another regulatory hurdle for people against the merger. These are relatively smart guys behind this. There’s no way they will discontinue gsm. ESPECIALLY with the international roaming plans.

        • Serge

          The only Korean carrier that used CDMA was LG U+. They stopped selling CDMA phones in January, they now sell VoLTE phones only. In Japan only #3 carrier KDDI uses CDMA, they only have 20-25% of the market. CDMA is on the way out.

  • JoshMcCullough

    Legere’s going to rip a couple of lines of Adderall, mainline some Red Bull, then challenge Dan Hesse “to the pain” (look up ‘The Princess Bride’ if you don’t get it) for control of the combined companies. I’ve got $100 on Legere, it’s easy money.

  • Jeremiah McCurry

    Coverage map and spectrum holdings for a new SprintT-Mobile http://www.fiercewireless.com/special-reports/what-would-combined-sprint-and-t-mobile-look

  • Mike

    If the meger goes thru TMO/Sprint i dont see Tmobile switching to CDMA or Sprint switching to GSM no time soon so they should use phones that can run both GSM and CDMA where u can auto switch networks when the signal is not good on one carrier

    • Cam Bunton

      MetroPCS had a similar issue before it merged too. It’s not an insurmountable problem. With all the networks all going towards LTE now, that’s even less of an issue.

      • qmc

        But… whose LTE? We don’t have devices that support the 3 Sprint and soon-to-be 3 T-Mobile frequencies.

        • Zexel

          So you make new devices that do?

        • UMA_Fan

          The Nexus 5 does which indicates newCo shouldn’t have issues in the future getting devices made that support all LTE bands

    • bob

      CDMA, GSM, network incompatibility. All of that talk is going to be gone soon now that all carriers have commited to LTE, which includes VoLTE.

  • Cam Fas

    Less competition is bad for the consumer no matter who runs it. If all else fails if hope he stays the CEO but I still am not for a merger sprint users on tmobiles network isn’t welcome right now they have the fewest subscribers per tower around 700-750 users per tower but with sprint regardless of the spectrum you will have a more then doubling of users per tower flooding the back haul side of things

    • TMOTECH

      That is very easily fixed.

    • TechHog

      Wouldn’t it double the towers too? I’m against the merger as well, but this is pretty poor reasoning right here.

      • Cam Fas

        It possibly could double the towers. Although if you look at most of the agreements verizon att sprint and tmobile share many of the towers they just have their own antenna array on them. In some cases when they have overlapping coverage

        • Cam Fas

          In the past they have shut down towers in close proximity to existing ones so I don’t know for sure what would happen. Trust me I don’t know it all by any means I just remember all the pain I had with sprint when they were beyond slow in tower upgrades

      • MastarPete

        they would most likely pick the towers in the best locations and decommission the overlap and move to a new area if they aren’t forced to sell assets as part of a deal with the FCC/DOJ.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Well he did work with son before……

    • BigMixxx

      Thought somebody would point this out. And global crossing was a decent company.

  • Todd_the_Hunn

    Doesn’t matter . Its not going through . This merger will never get past regulators . There is a reason T-Mobiles & Sprints stock both stocks fell yesterday . On merger news that never happens . Whats weird is Softbank’s refusal to take the hint . I guess a billion dollars is now corporate petty cash . I get the feeling Lengere would have only be a Softbank figurehead for a short term stint for what its worth .

    • TechHog

      If the merger is announced, it doesn’t matter if it goes through or not. T-Mobile will lose a lot more than $1 billion from the lost subs, bad press, and not making any competitive moves for 6 months, along with the fact that it could affect the 600MHz auction even if it’s denied.

      • Todd_the_Hunn

        LOL . TMO could do much worse than merging with Sprint and the white hot mess that is Sprints balance sheet ….which is that way from two previous disastrous mergers….Clearwire & Nextel . There are other companies that will merge with both . Dish Network did have a deal in place for Sprint before Japanese Softbank came in with a larger offer . Sounds like a case of buyers remorse . I suggest they sell . Both Sprint and TMO will have other dance partners .

        Oh ….and this couldn’t be a clearer case of anti – trust .

      • maximus1901

        And att is gonna use cricket to poach millions of magentans

      • UMA_Fan

        If Legere and Tmobile US are in charge which seems most likely then everything you just said would apply to Sprint not tmobile

    • franksmpc

      Much as I don’t like it, I think this sell out will go through. Not on merit, but through shear bribery.
      MSon is the largest investor in the the Chinese internet giant Alibaba. Alibaba is about to have it’s IPO, and rather then being listed on a Chinese or Hong Kong trading floor, it’s gonna be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. After this IPO, MSon will be one of, if not the, richest men on the planet.
      More importantly, this means that every time a Chinese investor sells a share of this Chinese company to another Chinese person (or anyone, anywhere), an American Bankster will get a cut. This was probably the price he had to pay to get Sprint, and T-Mobile has probably been part of the deal all along.
      Up to this point, the debate has been nothing but theater. This is going through. The Comcast deal is going through. If I had to guess (it’s not much of a guess, though) the ATT/Dish deal will be the one shelved “for competitive reasons.”

  • DirkDigg1er

    I read reports of both brands surviving. Sprint brand for business and T-Mobile for consumer accounts.

    I think John Legere and Masayoshi Son would make a better team than Sprint’s current management team. Dan Hesse has completed his task of turning around Sprint and now it’s time for John Legere and Co. to push both brands to Verizon and ATT levels.

    • maximus1901

      And to vzw and att pricing mr. Genius.

  • hanfeedback

    We can talk all we want about Legere running a combined Tmobile /Sprint but all that does mean anything when theres one less compeitor and the reality is that he will then work for Softbank who will have control over what was 2 of the 4 carriers in this country. Legere couldn’t do what he’s doing if DT wasn’t behind him and he won’t do what he’s doing now if Softbank ultimately doesn’t want it.

    • NinoBr0wn

      Fair point, but it’s not like DT was behind him anyway. T-Mo US basically did their own thing while their efforts were neglected the whole time. If Legere remains CEO, it may be in Softbank’s best interests to allow him control, so the brand can *continue* to move forward.

      • maximus1901

        No. TMO was not doing their own thing with DT owning 67% of the company. Legere was calculated.

        • NinoBr0wn

          I wasn’t referring to stake in the company.

        • Zexel

          DT wasn’t doing anything, I am sure they looked over and had to approve everything that t-mobile wanted to do but they were not the ones pushing uncarrier.

      • TMO insider

        When Legere came on as CEO he made it very clear to DT he would run the company guys way and without interference from DT. He is in total control of every move that is made. That being said, he will also be in total control of any merged company or he will not take the job. That my friends is a fact from someone who knows.

    • Zexel

      Sprint wasn’t really a competitor… A&t and Verizon are the only real competition.

      • hanfeedback

        Perhaps but it doesn’t matter where Tmobile ultimately gets customers from and Im sure they would just as easily take them from Sprint at ATT or Verizon. Sprint is a disaster and them taking over TMobile will mean only 2 viable providers for the foreseeable future. The people who say Tmobile cannot remain viable on it’s own with 3 other national carriers simply do not know what they are talking about.

  • fsured

    I think it was CNET that had an article with Hesse mentioning there are other things in life he would like to do. I can see him exiting the scene in a merger with a huge check to keep him happy and funded.

    • Todd_the_Hunn

      He deserves a lot of credit for keeping Sprint alive after the Nextel debacle . ALOT of credit .

      • nogoodnamesleft90210

        Like say $100 million in credit? That’s about what he’s made as CEO of Sprint.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      That would be his 2nd fat check

  • Tony

    I was really against this merger since T-mobile was finally giving something wireless customers could cheer for, but after reading more about Softbank and listening to Masayoshi Son talk (see link[1] for one of the interviews from re/code) I’m becoming more cautiously optimistic. If he’s really being sincere then I would welcome his refreshing view on our lagging infrastructure.

    I’d especially be more convinced if the new entity is headed up by Legere and they keep the T-mobile branding which has a better connotation at this point.

    [1] http://recode.net/2014/03/12/sprint-chief-says-u-s-internet-speeds-are-awful-even-sprints-but-he-can-fix-that/

  • http://freedomisthedream.com Wesley

    “If this deal is going through, and it gets passed all the regulatory steps, it’d be most pleasing for us if T-Mobile kept its brand, its popular Un-Carrier message, its Un-CEO and its break-neck rollout of networks.”

    And shut down another CDMA network ASAP.

  • JBrowne1012

    One of the problems is regardless of if Legere is CEO or not is that Sprint still gets 50% Controlling stake in t-mobile which means Legere would be just a image of whats supposed to be good but Sprint would still be running crap. Lets give sprint less of controlling stock more like 25% instead so that T-mobile can progress and continue building out the network effectively and efficiently because thats why Sprint can’t compete with t-mobile.

    • maximus1901

      Yes sure let’s. How much of DT do you own?

    • Zexel

      If there is a merger Softbank will ditch sprints network and slowly shift all the customers over to GSM and expand off tmobiles network. CDMA is worse then GSM, there is no “benefit” to using it besides the carrier being able to lock phones to their network only.

      They would probably ditch the t-mobile and sprint name and unite the 2 under a new name.

      • randian

        No benefit to customers, but lockin is of great benefit to a carrier’s profit margin (see Verizon).

      • josephsinger

        Considering that 2G technology in both CDMA and GSM are being replaced by LTE it’s moot.

    • josephsinger

      No one other than Softbank/Sprint has control over things. It’s how much stock they have to control. If they buy 51% of the company they are in control and can dictate what the company is called as well as dictate what the company does. Controlling stock isn’t “give” it’s determined by who owns the majority of stock that they “bought.”

  • D Velasquez

    Tmobile doesn’t have to keep its name, since deutsche Telekom will be a minority most likely it will be renamed softbank since. Softbank will be pretty much the parent company, I for one like the softbank branding since I have used their phones before.

    • Willie D

      The term “bank” is synonymous with financial institution and one of the sensitive points that ruined our country lately, to rename anything like a telephone carrier, to something that sounds like a bank, wouldn’t work here. The perception and name itself is weak and disliked.

  • VIDGMER

    I predict there is no longer brand: T-Mobile and Sprint, but new cool brand : Un-Carrier

    • Willie D

      Sprint stated they planned to bring back the Nextel name for Business Customers, but why not keep the name of the new company either TMobile or change it to something in Sprint arsenal, like, Clear… Not that I am for the merger, I am 100% against it.

  • Alex Zapata

    Cool, but I’m still against the merger.

  • zexel

    From what Legere has said about the merger it sounds more like they just want to share networks/customers/spectrum and not do an actual merger.

    This sounds like it would be more of a joint than a merger so they can give att and Verizon some real competition.

  • UMA_Fan

    I wonder what prepaid brands will be eliminated? There’s no way they are keeping Boost, Virgin, Sprint as you go, and MetroPCS. Maybe everything CDMA will automatically be MetroPCS allowing for easier migration to gsm.

  • Philip

    I wonder will John be always be John after the merge?

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      Considering the amount of debt Softbank will have, the immediate task will most likely be to turn a profit; what T-Mobile has been doing, while great, has not turned a profit, so market strategies will most likely be changed significantly. The real test will be whether or not john can accomplish what Softbank wants while simultaneously keeping the uncarrier train rolling.

      • Maximus

        In this industry, you can’t just “turn a profit” overnight. It doesn’t work that way. You have to gain customers, even at a loss at first, in order to eventually turn a profit. The margins are small so volume is the key. Profit is a long term goal and will not happen either way for another 2-3 years.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          A long term goal requires short term strategies to accomplish

  • Larry Griffin

    If T-Mobile comes put on top after the merger then I have no problem …anything else and I’m switching carriers

    • Pesos

      There is nowhere to run. If you switch you’ll likely end up in a worse situation: contract, higher fees, limited services, etc.

      • notyourbusiness

        Not necessarily. There are tons of prepaid networks. That’s the route I would go.

        • Pesos

          Very true, but note that most of them are ran by the big networks like Sprint, ATT, Tmobile, Verizon, etc.I used to have a Virgin mobile phone and was locked into a $25 a month bill (no contract). Two years later Sprint was acquired by Softbank and the service went downhill and the price is now $35 a month.

        • notyourbusiness

          Many of them are owned by the big four, but then there are those that are owned by different companies and merely run on one of the big four’s networks. Big difference. Personally, I would never go with ATT, but I do have an H2O Wireless SIM I recently got to unlock two phones. H2O runs on ATT’s network but isn’t owned by them, so I would possibly consider using them in the future. That’s crazy about your Virgin Mobile account going up by 10 bucks. Sounds like if this merger goes through, T-Mo bills will increase as well, which is not good.

  • james

    Only way I’d stay

  • notyourbusiness

    I’ll stay IF it continues to be as it is now and improve even further on it and if prices stay the way they currently are. If the network is dominated by Sprint and prices change and if I lose the discount on my three lines, I’m out. I’ve been planning on what to do if things change for the worse if this merger occurs, but I’m definitely willing to wait and see what happens. Good that John Legere will be in charge, in any case.

  • Derrick McClean

    A merger/buy-out would only cause a monopoly of either CDMA or GSM, as Sprint+T-Mobile would have to become one or the other, leaving the 3rd carrier to become the monopoly. It would also cause a ton of job loss. (ie, if Sprint+T-Mobile becomes CDMA, AT&T will be the GSM monopoly, if they become GSM, Verizon will become the CDMA monopoly.)

    Sign this petition please!
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/not-allow-softbanksprint-buy-andor-merge-t-mobile-it-will-create-job-loss-and-less-competition/fgMjkRvY

  • Bedknobs_and_Boomsticks

    “it pales in comparison to the impact Legere has had on T-Mobile’s
    fortunes and the state of the total U.S. market in his comparatively
    short time in charge” You mean, by just laying people off?