John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile USA
"Colorful" is the word that best describes T-Mobile USA's new CEO John Legere. In an industry where CEOs of Tier 1 operators are notable for their business suits and ties and their carefully worded statements, Legere is a refreshing change of pace. At a recent T-Mobile event at the Consumer Electronics Show, Legere sported a T-shirt under his suit coat and a baseball hat and described his competition with words like "sucks."
Legere is already making waves in the industry. Just days after T-Mobile USA appointed him CEO in September, he inked a merger MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS). The deal will allow T-Mobile to expand the MetroPCS brand nationwide using T-Mobile's network, and will give T-Mobile even more AWS spectrum, allowing it to deploy an LTE network with 20 MHz-wide channels.
Legere also helped T-Mobile finally get its hands on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices, which will likely help the operator strengthen its position with consumers.
But the transformation doesn't end there. Thanks to Legere's leadership, T-Mobile plans to eliminate all device subsidies from its rate plans in the coming months, making it the first major U.S. wireless carrier to do so.
Competitors are closely watching T-Mobile's every move. There are even some early indications that others may follow T-Mobile's leadership in eliminating device subsidies--or at least begin offering customers more options.
Legere's challenge in the year ahead will be to make sure that T-Mobile executes on its network migration plan, which includes deploying LTE, closing its MetroPCS acquisition and continuing to innovate.
For T-Mobile employees, this CEO is not just a rising star but a breath of fresh air, and a much-needed leader that promises to revive the company.