T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) said Monday that its board of directors named Mike Sievert as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 1, 2020. Currently President, Chief Operating Officer and a board director, Sievert will assume the CEO role from John Legere after Legere’s contract ends on April 30, 2020. Sievert’s new title will be President and CEO. Legere will remain on the board.
The company said the CEO transition is part of the board’s succession planning process. “John Legere has had an enormously successful run as CEO. As the architect of the Un-carrier strategy and the company’s complete transformation, John has put T-Mobile U.S. in an incredibly strong position,” said Tim Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO, and Chairman of the Board of T-Mobile U.S. Legere will support the leadership transition while focusing on closing the pending acquisition of Sprint.
Sievert has worked alongside Legere for seven years. As T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer and then COO, he led the design and execution of the 16 Un-carrier “moves” that have defined the company, according to executives.
In his role as President and COO, Sievert leads T-Mobile’s marketing and product groups, and retail, sales, and customer support groups for the company’s segments and brands. In addition, over the past two years Sievert has worked with Legere on T-Mobile’s merger planning, integration, and regulatory approval initiatives, with the goal of creating the “New T-Mobile” by closing the pending Sprint acquisition. Sievert has also been on the T-Mobile board for nearly two years.
Legere said he hired Sievert, mentored him and has confidence in him. “He is absolutely the right choice as T-Mobile’s next CEO,” said Legere. “Mike is well prepared to lead T-Mobile into the future. He has a deep understanding of where T-Mobile has been and where it needs to go to remain the most innovative company in the industry.”
Legere said his focus on the next few months will be ensuring a smooth leadership transition and continuing to work closely with the board and Sievert to complete the Sprint transaction. On T-Mobile’s investor call Monday, Legere also shed light on rumors of being approached by WeWork for the CEO role. Wccftech reported the executive denied that he was in discussion with the real-estate company by stating, “I want to be clear: I was never having discussions to run WeWork.”
Legere’s optimistic about T-Mobile’s merger, which, despite winning regulatory approval, faces a lawsuit by several attorney generals who believe the deal will stifle competition in their states. Legere believes that Sprint and T-Mobile are in a good position to win the case and, “maybe we can get this wrapped up sooner than later,” according to wccftech.
When asked about Plan B if Sprint does not come through, Sievert mentioned a possible buyback and it would look into marketplace “for other opportunities for spectrum.”
Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche questioned whether Sievert was talking about C-band. “T-Mobile was very clear this announcement in no way changes its view on getting the Sprint deal done,” Fritzsche said in a note to investors. “Management noted the November 7 announcement for the ‘New TMUS’, with Sprint, was well received by regulators.”
TMUS management used the call to continue the message of how disruptive it will be post-deal, according to the analyst. Executives said the combined company will have 14x the capacity it has today and will bring real competition to broadband. “Sievert noted 50 percent of the U.S. [has] no choice beyond one player in high speed broadband,” and its plans go beyond wireless, stated Fritzsche. The main message (and likely an opportunistic shout out to D.C.), according to her was: “customers will be the winners.”
Also mentioned on the call, current CTO Neville Ray is being promoted to President of Technology and current CFO Braxton Carter will extend his contract to “at least” July 1, 2020 to help with the transition, Fritzsche noted.
November 19, 2019