Legere: “We are not an underdog brand”

t-mobile-john-legere-big-eyes

T-Mobile has become the most talked about carrier in the U.S. wireless industry. Its bold Uncarrier moves have made it the talk of the town. Its growth and popularity since starting Uncarrier have been incredible. And many will put this boldness and success down to one person: John Legere.

More often than not, tech reporters will come away from a T-Mobile press event with comments on the chief’s style and choice of language. And the same is true of his online presence. He’s often caught TweetStorming on important issues, bigging up his brand or  berating his competitors. Most recently, with Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s relatively new CEO. And he got a response.

Yesterday afternoon, Mashable published an article on John Legere in which it printed an email exchange between themselves and our favorite company’s CEO. The main subject was his use of Twitter.

Legere is obviously very active on Twitter, leading some critics to say that he’s promoting himself and not T-Mobile. His response: There’s no difference. He and T-Mobile are one and the same. He is T-Mobile.

At times, Legere is controversial in what he posts publicly, and he admits that there a things he says “every now and then” he wishes he hadn’t. But he won’t change his philosophy. To JL, listening to customers, connecting with them is the most important part of being the CEO. He doesn’t spend all day in meetings.

“This the most important thing I can do as a CEO –- listen to customers, learn and take action. Whether it’s on Twitter, in call centers or in stores, staying connected to customers is my No. 1 job. CEOs who don’t do it are missing the point. This is a huge competitive advantage.”

Of course, then came the question as to whether or not the other CEOs should do it. Or if it is only appropriate when you’re the underdog. To which came my favorite response of the interview: “We are not an underdog brand.”

Legere states that T-Mo is “punching above its weight”, but that it also has the “best brand in this category”, pointing to the company’s growth as evidence for that statement.

“All CEOs and companies should be this straightforward, honest and transparent with their customers, competition and employees who are interested in what they have to say. They should all take customer feedback this directly and then be ready to act on it. But very few do, so no, I don’t think this approach is for everyone.”

If you get chance, you should head on over to the original article and give it a read. It’s always good to read the CEO’s thoughts on why he does the things he does.

Source: Mashable

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  • Joe

    I think John is a good CEO but he can be really childish and unprofessional at times. Which i’m afraid it will backfire on him one day, but I hope that does not happen.

    • Daniel Gomez

      I agree how long do you think it will take them to get all their band 12 out and they should of starting doing this along time ago that’s why they are slacking and still behind Verizon and at and t other then that they are better then any other carrier except coverage wise once that’s fixed screw at and t and Verizon

      • dave73

        It wasn’t until this CEO that he wanted to get the network growing. The previous CEO’s didn’t care about some medium sized markets, & especially didn’t care about rural America, that some rural areas in major markets weren’t covered at all. The CEO that was in place when the 700 band auction took place, chose to sit out of that auction, rather than have the company bid on any of the licenses. Since Verizon wasn’t going to use their lower A & B band licenses, it made sense for T-Mobile to buy what they could from Verizon. Since T-Mobile’s A block licenses cover many rural markets & rural areas of major cities, T-Mobile must build out in those areas, as it’s based on the overall size of the market (not based on population, like it is with AWS & PCS). While speeds aren’t up there in NW Indiana, it’s isn’t that bad, & can still get what I need done with the speeds I get. With the rate the network is growing in areas I travel the most, will eventually allow me to drop Verizon as the primary carrier (both T-Mobile & Verizon are prepaid services for me). Chicago market is the only top 5 market that T-Mobile will have to make due with PCS & AWS for LTE, due to not having any lower band spectrum for that market. Even if they did have a lower 700 band A license, they couldn’t use it, due to WPWR-TV being on channel 51, covering the entire market.

      • Spanky

        “they are better then any other carrier except coverage wise”
        Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t coverage the most important thing about a wireless carrier?

        • g2a5b0e

          No, it’s not. Most people spend 99% of their time in the city they live in or the one they work in. If your service works just fine in those places (99% of your time spent), why would you care about what a national coverage map looks like? I don’t know about you, but I don’t care about what kind of service Joe Schmoe in BFE Montana is getting.

        • Spanky

          Coverage is not the most important thing about a wireless carrier? Are you serious? While I may not care about coverage in Montana, I certainly care about coverage outside of major cities, as well as my own neighborhood in NYC that has an estimated population of 200,000 people and barely any data coverage on T-Mobile. Let’s not forget the building penetration issue. “They are working on it” and “don’t you have WiFi” are not acceptable answers.

        • g2a5b0e

          It’s very possible that we’re qualifying this differently. Of course I care about coverage, but what I am saying is that I only care about coverage where I live. Like most people, I don’t venture outside my coverage area very often except for vacations & other things like that, so national coverage doesn’t matter much to me.

        • J

          Next post he’ll state how much everybody wants international roaming…. lol

        • Daniel Gomez

          yes coverage is the most important thing in a and t mobile is working on that but Verizon and at and t don’t care about thier customers lets face that fact cause if they did they would implement what t mobile is doing but they don’t cause all they care about is profit and sooner or later that will back fire its already happening now at a slow pace

    • HildyJJ

      Hey, it worked for Steve Jobs.

      • Joe

        Steve Jobs is way different he was never really childish.

        • Jose M Gonzalez

          he also thought that apple was the center of the universe lol

        • Hector Arteaga

          Ah… He was famout for treating people like crap. He was a bully. Not much different than a ruthless kid, but hey he got results I suppose.

        • jay_max

          Steve Jobs was notorious for parking in handicapped spots for convenience (while he was healthy) and for driving without a license plate so he couldn’t be ticketed. Not only childish, but dickish behavior.

  • Brad

    I do have to say they are laser focused on customer feedback. I had an issue with my router and switching from pre to post paid and tweeted John… situation that I’d spent a good amount of time working on and getting nowhere (phone reps still BLOW) was resolved in less than five minutes. In my favor. Perfect.

    • jacky

      With sprint all their phone customer service are from phillipines so good lick trying to get your account issue resolved by reps who speak half broken english.

      • Hector Arteaga

        My issue with Sprint wasn’t the network. Their customer service did stink. That’s why I switched.

      • Brad

        I always got what I wanted from sprint, though. Except coverage….

      • Orlando Duran

        Tmobile reps are in the United States during normal business hours. ….had an issue with tmobile last night, called cust service, was polite and they not only corrected my bill, they gave me a $25 credit for the hassle. Yep that’s horrible customer service

      • Jason

        Another Sprint statement holy crap your on fire

    • KingCobra

      I agree their customer service has greatly improved. I remember how Humm just let the customer service go to crap during the attempted AT&T buyout but over time Legere has gotten things back to the level of quality that it was before those years.

  • Nathan S.

    So far, I am pleased with his performance as CEO. I enjoy listening to him give speeches and love his attacks on twitter. Sure, he has a foul mouth and could use a little change there but I’m ok with that. Things feel better than they did when I joined the brand about 4 or so years ago. I am still paying less for more services than what any of the other brands can offer and I get great service in my areas of home and work. Sure, they have a way to go before they can top Verizon but its working for me right now. Last year was the first time I think I have ever bought a phone and paid full price for it(Galaxy S5 for the Wife) and managed to have it paid off before Christmas. I liked the experience and success such that I bought a Nexus 6 64GB for my birthday in December. There was problems with stock delays and tmobile stepped up and made it right. I used to be a self proclaimed Craigslist or online shopper for used phones. But now, its like why bother with all the time and searching and meeting up when I can get a brand new phone with warranty and pay it off in under a year. Works for me. Should things go south this year or next, as long as I pay off the Nexus, I can walk at any time without any of the normal butthurt that you might get from others.

    • archerian

      just keep in mind if you do anything in store – most store employees have been, are and most probably will be hustlers out for a quick buck.

      • Nathan S.

        You’re Probably right. I do not go into the stores most usually.

  • KijBeta

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his “winning” personality. But I half expected him to go off on a swear filled tangent about how awesome he is, and insulting T-Mobile (simply calling out an observation that Tmo is an underdog compared to the big 2) is akin to insulting all the employees and customers of TMUS.

    • archerian

      after a string of snafus like “We’ll overtake Sprint in 2014”, “if you like your grandfathered plan you can keep it”, removal and then adding back corporate discounts, maybe it’s time for him to contemplate first.

      • Orlando Duran

        U can keep your grandfathered plan, corporate discounts were not taken away, some plans don’t allow the discount, but if u look at your account online, the discount is still there. Go troll other sites sprint boi

        • archerian

          Grandfathered plans were kept intact after severe backlash and mismanaged changes, after postcards were sent out saying all grandfathered plans will be migrated for $1 extra… corporate discount were taken down but they backtracked after public pressure… and I see you kept quiet about “We’ll overtake Sprint in 2014” … please ask JL to heat up his time machine now…

        • Seriously

          My discount is completely gone… No mention of it ever being there…. I’m not the only one either, plenty of people besides me posted on HOFo
          Trolling is also making stuff up, I mean whats the point of stating false information…

  • TK – Indy

    A quick Wikipedia lookup on Legere gives references to articles where he “Walked up to people’s desk and slid everything on it to the floor, just because he could”, and “Walked around with a baseball bat busting things up”. Let’s not forget the link where he referred to one of the secretaries at Global Crossing routinely in widespread emails as “Miss Piggy”. There is more there, and worse – but I can’t print it here. There is one word for this guy, and I can’t print that here, either.

    • calvin200

      Wow

      • jacky

        Dont listen to that sprint troll john legere is the most popular wireless ceo hes shaking up t mobile thats why t mobile is the fastest growing wireless company. That sprint troll is just jealous ofnjohn legere.

        • TK – Indy

          The information I provided is easily verifiable. You do know about Wikipedia, right?

        • Hector Arteaga

          He might suck as a person, but he’s changed the industry. Plain and simple.

        • TK – Indy

          You don’t get a “pass” on being a civilized human being, regardless of the results. A price will be paid at some point.

        • Hector Arteaga

          I’m sure I have coworkers that are less than stellar individuals out of work, but they perform well at work and do their job. That’s all I care about. Same thing with companies I do business with. If the product is convenient for me, then I don’t care how bad their CEO is. Of course, there’s limits. On a greater scale, if the company is exploiting children, then I won’t buy from them. Anyway, might be an extreme example.

        • Durandal_1707

          Why, yes I do know about Wikipedia!

          (takes a moment to edit)

          Hey look, now it says he’s Santa Claus!

        • TK – Indy

          Not the articles in the references, which are not in Wikipedia.

        • Orlando Duran

          Wikipedia can be changed, what an I d I o t

        • calvin200

          I’ve known a lot of charismatic prics in my life.

        • I Hate Trolls

          The ones you’ve sucked don’t count.

        • calvin200

          OK, then only one. :}-

    • jacky

      Lol a sprint troll bashing the best ceo in the wireless industry.

      • archerian

        the truth hurts

        • Orlando Duran

          Archerian……said no one, what a tool

        • archerian

          tool – you’re referring to JL right?

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          They’re probably bullshit. I’ve noticed that when competent administrators like Legere expect things to get done, the lazy, incompetent slugs cry foul with harassment charges, the only way they can delegitimize someone who isn’t doing anything wrong. So I don’t care, to be honest. At all.

        • archerian

          Without board approval, Legere spent $500,000 of Asia Global Crossing’s
          money to settle three separate sexual harassment claims against him … yeah, three SEPARATE lawsuits are probably BS to de-legitimize someone who isn’t doing ANYTHING wrong.. it’s nothing related to competency ..

    • brian90

      Steven Jobs was notorious for behavior like that too. Maybe people that think outside the box are really abusive?? Hard to tell what is in their heads.

    • Orlando Duran

      Wikipedia is a joke for quoting, u can change what the wiki page says, anyone can. This is why colleges don’t allow wiki pages for research

      • TK – Indy

        The references are valid and not contained in Wikipedia, and can be used. The quotes are not from Wikipedia, but from the outside references.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          They’re likely garbage. Lazy people will always cry foul when someone with a strong work ethic demands accountability. Yawn.

  • KingCobra

    I have to say Legere has done an excellent job since taking over. He’s turned around a carrier that was languishing with no direction, no LTE, no iPhone and pretty much changed the US wireless industry while also making T-Mobile competitive again. Best CEO in wireless at the moment. Looking forward to even more network improvements in 2015.

  • archerian

    “best brand in this category” – the category being discount wireless? “punching above its weight” or “chewing more than can be swallowed?”

    • KingCobra

      I’d consider taking customers from AT&T/VZW as “punching above its weight” as they’re both more than twice the size of TMO. But I suppose others could interpret the phrase differently.

      • archerian

        If price were the only concern for wireless consumers, then everyone would be a T-mobile customer by now. Even now, the effect of the 10M adds over 2014 are seen in lower speeds and service. When price is the main motivation for someone to switch, there is no loyalty. There is a good chance several of these users will move back to ATT via Cricket, have you seen the promotions they are running? (Less than) T-mobile prices on the ATT network with decent speeds.

        • Acdc1a

          Speeds capped, no international roaming options. I’ll pass.

        • archerian

          yes, everyone needs international roaming when only around a third of the population has passports. And 8Mbps on ATT’s network is better than 50Mbps in certain parts of the country and EDGE elsewhere.

        • Acdc1a

          Since you probably don’t leave Mom’s basement, you probably don’t need a passport or a vast LTE network.

        • archerian

          vast LTE network? T-mobile is not what comes into the average american wireless consumers mind when that’s heard. And did you just like your own post to over compensate?

        • KingCobra

          True but if price were the only concern then we’d see Sprint adding millions per quarter. The fact that T-Mobile not only continues to take subscribers from the Big 2, but is also getting them to react and respond and their promotions is the very definition of punching above your weight.

          “There is a chance that subscribers will move to Cricket”, but so far it hasn’t happened. Cricket has a very serious image issue that AT&T doesn’t seem to be bothered to address. So it’s more than price alone.

        • Sofloridaguy

          I’ve had all 4 carriers. I travel all over the country for work. I switched back to T-mobile because overall data speeds are much faster than AT&T, Verizon and Sprint! Call reliability is just as good as any other carrier. As for customer service I’ve never had an issue.

        • TK – Indy

          Call reliability is nowhere near as good, it is a well-documented fact, and even T-mobile’s own Chief Engineer acknowledges it.

        • Sofloridaguy

          I must be lucky cause my service has been just as good.

    • tony
    • xmiro

      most customers coming to TMUS are from at&t and Verizon. at&t and Verizon are currently goosing their numbers by counting tablets, which they often give away for free on contract, as new adds.

      T-Mobile added over 8 million subs in 2014 and most of that growth is new customers bringing in smartphones over.

      TMUS is an underdog considering where they started from, like no LTE anywhere for one and being nearly dead broke.

      They are also not a value brand anymore. They are cheaper but by very very little, unlike before, today they use MetroPCS to compete on price. T-Mobile proper has tightened their credit requirements as well, before it was pretty lax and they paid for it in all the fraud they were experiencing

  • tomarone

    I”d like to cut my cable. Need some cable channels like Comedy Central, HBO, TCM, etc. on TMO then it’d work. How about it?
    Other than that there’s the issue of coverage outside of major metropolitan areas?

    • Orlando Duran

      Dish has it for $20 bucks a month…streaming of cable channels, not all channels though

  • SVU BOlieve in AJ’s EMMAlution

    With 7 days of parades in New Orleans to kick off Mardi Gras season, I was expecting T-Mobile to be over congested and totally unuseful, but every day I was on the parade route my phone performed wonderfully. The only problem I had was on Saturday, but I guess with what looked to be a million plus people lined up on 4 miles of parade route I guess my phone was bound to find a dead spot (and it just so happened to be the exact spot where I was standing for the whole parade). Great job T-Mobile, even my Verizon phone was slower last year than my TMo phobe was this year.