AT&T CEO: We won’t have Twitter spats with T-Mobile’s Legere, Sprint’s Claure or other executives

Verizon’s Ronan Dunne is a new addition to the number of high-profile wireless players on Twitter.

LAS VEGAS – Don’t expect AT&T’s Glenn Lurie to join other top wireless executives in squabbles on Twitter.

“We don’t need to go out and have Twitter spats to go grow the business,” he told FierceWireless in an interview last week on the sidelines of the recent CTIA Super Mobility trade show. Lurie two years ago was named president and CEO of AT&T’s mobility and consumer operations. “We don’t need to go out and have Twitter spats to prove who we are in social media.”

When questioned whether he would engage Verizon’s Ronan Dunne, T-Mobile US’ John Legere and Sprint’s Marcelo Claure on Twitter, Lurie said that approach doesn’t fit with AT&T’s corporate style. Legere, Claure and Dunne have in the past argued with each other directly on Twitter over their various offerings.

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“The fact that we’ve, in a sense, stayed above the fray – of going back and forth and, using your term, having little ‘Twitter spats’ – that’s just not who we are as a company,” Lurie said. “We have stayed above by focusing on our customers, we have stayed above by investing more than anybody else in the industry, we have stayed above by really driving towards really being a different company than the rest of the industry.”

Lurie added that AT&T “as a company are very active” on Twitter and other social media platforms.

“I respect my competition. I respect what they believe they need to do for their business,” Lurie said. “But we’re always going to make an independent decision about what’s right for us, and what’s really most important and what’s right for our customers.”

T-Mobile’s Legere has long used Twitter as a platform to market the company’s products and make announcements; Legere currently counts almost 3 million followers. For his part, Sprint’s Claure too has used Twitter in a similar manner, and routinely engages directly with Legere and others on the social site (Claure counts 133,000 followers).

A noteworthy recent addition to Twitter’s lineup of high-profile U.S. wireless players is Verizon’s new wireless chief Dunne, who counts around 30,000 followers. Last month, a week after Verizon announced him as its new wireless chief, Dunne Tweeted in response to Sprint that “only some networks are great all of the time,” a possible indication he would become a third player in Twitter conversations among U.S. wireless carrier executives. (Interestingly, Dunne and Claure subsequently traded advice about rental cars in London on Twitter.)

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