T-Mobile reveals new leaders once Sprint deal closes

From left: Neville Ray, Mike Sievert, John Legere and Braxton Carter reported T-Mobile's fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 6. (T-Mobile)

As its combination with Sprint inches closer to “Day Zero,” T-Mobile on Thursday announced the new management team to oversee the combined company, with a few familiar faces from Sprint joining the New T-Mobile fray.

Neville Ray will continue as president of Technology, reporting directly to incoming CEO Mike Sievert, and current Sprint CTO John Saw will join as the new executive vice president of Advanced and Emerging Technologies, reporting to Ray.

T-Mobile previously confirmed that Abdul Saad was recently promoted to executive vice president and CTO, reporting to Ray. He joined T-Mobile more than 19 years ago. In an email to employees Thursday, Sievert, current president and COO, and outgoing CEO John Legere, due to leave at the end of April, described Saad as the strategic mastermind behind the innovation and growth of T-Mobile’s network. The email was part of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing (PDF).

The T-Mobile executives said they were naming the executives who will serve as members of the New T-Mobile senior leadership team (SLT). The changes will be effective as of the closing of the transaction, also known as “Day Zero,” of the New T-Mobile.

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Saw brings with him a background of working with Sprint’s treasure trove of 2.5 GHz spectrum, going back to his days at Clearwire before it was acquired by Sprint in 2013. Saw was the second employee at Clearwire. At Sprint, he drove the ecosystem for the mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum, overseeing its deployment of Massive MIMO and Sprint’s transition to 5G.

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Also reporting to Ray is Cody Sanford, who will serve as executive vice president and chief information and product officer. He started his career at T-Mobile over 20 years ago and served in a variety of roles, including in retails sales and engineering operations and technology. He is also given credit for spearheading the successful integration with MetroPCS, for which T-Mobile has been given props.

And it looks like T-Mobile’s “Magenta Cowboy,” CFO Braxton Carter, is not going to make a get-away just yet. Carter, who joined T-Mobile via the MetroPCS acquisition, and is often seen during earnings calls wearing an oversized magenta cowboy hat, had an exit plan last year, with his last day tied to the closure of the merger deal. But the e-mail to employees said Carter will remain as CFO, although it did not specify for how long.

Analysts at LightShed Partners last week noted that Carter’s contract expires on July 1. However, “given the delays in closing the Sprint transaction, we believe investors would also welcome a short extension during the transition to a new CFO,” wrote analysts Walter Piecyk and Joe Galone. “Sorry Braxton, you need to stick around a few more months.”

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Sunit Patel, who some analysts thought might be appointed to the CFO position, will continue to lead integration planning efforts until the close of the transaction, but is “stepping away” from T-Mobile once the merger is completed. He joined the company in 2018 to lead the integration planning after having served as CFO at CenturyLink and before that, Level 3.  

Reporting to Carter is Susan Loosmore, who was promoted to executive vice president, Financial Planning & Analysis. She’s been in the wireless industry more than 23 years and at T-Mobile for over a decade, including her most recent role as senior vice president of Financial Planning & Analysis.

Dow Draper, who served in a number of roles at Sprint, including marketing and sales for the prepaid brands, will serve as the new executive vice president of Emerging Products, reporting to Sievert. Nestor Cano, who joined Sprint as COO in 2017, will serve as the new executive vice president of Integration and Transformation and as strategic advisor to the CEO. Deeanne King, who has been with Sprint for more than 30 years, will be the new executive vice president and chief human resources officer.

Jon Freier continues as executive vice president of Consumer Marketing, and Mike Katz stays on as executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business, leading that and the wholesale businesses as a direct report to Sievert. Jeremy Malasky will serve as senior vice president of Corporate Services and as Sievert’s chief of staff. He joined T-Mobile four years ago from McKinsey & Co.

Callie Field remains as executive vice president in charge of Customer Care, reporting to Sievert; she will be responsible for bringing the T-Mobile and Sprint Care organizations together.

While Legere is leaving this spring, there are signs that T-Mobile's tendency toward exclamation points and all caps will remain in the leadership's messaging, ending the email with this: "This is exactly the right team to supercharge our Un-Carrier strategy and bring more competition, lower prices, and more innovation to consumers like never before! Our future SLT represents the best of the best - and we are going to be absolutely UNSTOPPABLE!"