For 2021, FierceWireless has compiled a young and accomplished slate of up-and-coming wireless executives. We’re doling out the names of our winners, two per day, so that readers have the time to enjoy reading their profiles. These are all folks to keep an eye on as they make a mark in wireless, working in diverse areas of telecommunications.
You could say that Dara Sadri was meant to be a wireless industry leader because of his early interaction with Robert Dotson, the former CEO of T-Mobile. Sadri grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and his mother was a hairdresser who cut Dotson’s hair. As a young boy Sadri met Dotson and stayed in touch with the wireless executive. After graduating from the University of Washington with a business degree, Sadri reached out to Dotson about a project management job at T-Mobile.
Sadri said that Dotson put him in touch with a recruiter, but he didn’t get the job because T-Mobile hired someone with more experience. But then just days later, Sadri got a phone call from T-Mobile. The person that they had initially hired had not shown up, so Sadri jumped at his chance to join the company.
Thirteen years later, Sadri is now the VP of consumer business operations at T-Mobile where he is responsible for the company’s store operations, commission operations, business analysis, frontline readiness, business continuity and resource planning for all of T-Mobile’s retail and third-party channels. He has 13 directors and senior directors that report to him, and he oversees more than 600 employees.
Perhaps even more impressive than Sadri’s fast track up the corporate ladder is that he oversaw the planning, execution and combining of T-Mobile's and Sprint’s retail businesses when the two companies merged last year. He said this was especially difficult in the midst of a global pandemic. “We had two of everything. Two HR teams, two back-office systems,” he said. “We had to stay coordinated without interruption.”
And he had the added challenge of having to lead people who had previously worked for Sprint that he had never met and were based in Kansas City and Reston, Virginia. “I’m proud of being able to take care of our customers and our people during this time.”
Sadri said that the best part of working for T-Mobile is that the company has provided him with numerous opportunities. “Every time I raised my hand the company gave me the opportunity and I grew,” he said. “They taught me to be ferocious and shoot for the stars.”
He adds that although T-Mobile is a Fortune 40 company, it still is able to be nimble and operate like a small business. “I feel supported because the company cares about its people.”
But he admits that the fast pace can be trying at times. “The industry requires that you be on 24/7,” he said. “That’s a tough balance. How do you keep people focused on the results but also make sure you don’t burn your people out?”