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T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

T-Mobile US Inc. is getting a fresh new leader with the appointment of former Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) CEO John Legere as Chief Executive Officer, charged with transforming the company into a successful challenger to the big three.

T-Mobile parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), announced the appointment Wednesday morning, noting that the position goes into effect on Sept. 22. Legere is taking over for interim CEO Jim Alling, who will resume his post as COO of the wireless operator. Alling took over the slot in June when former CEO Philip Humm abruptly resigned. (See T-Mobile CEO Humm Is Done .)

René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, introduced Legere in a short video in which Legere jumped right into how he'd execute T-Mobile's challenger strategy. Around the 1:45 mark, Legere discussed the carrier's network modernization plans, including its Long Term Evolution (LTE) buildout. He also delves into T-Mobile's unlocked iPhone strategy and its plans to build up its wholesale business.



Why this matters
Ten months after AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s takeover attempt failed to get approval, T-Mobile still has a ways to go to regain its footing in the U.S. market. Legere will have his work cut out for him in speeding up the company's LTE deployment, building up a wholesale business, convincing consumers to bring over their unlocked iPhones and competing -- primarily with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) -- for those customers who still want an unlimited data plan.

For more


— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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raboulhosn 12/5/2012 | 5:20:51 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

I used to like T-mobile a lot more when they were called VoiceStream.  

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:20:51 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

I'm sure there are people who prefered AT&T when they were Cingular too, but that was a long time ago!

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:20:50 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

The key for T-Mobile may be to focus on slices of the market where it can get to No. 3 (or higher). That can be geographic, or by market segment -- like what RIM was doing on the enterprise side. The Pyramid findings are specific to network operators -- there's probably more room for gadget makers, although all markets move to consolidation sooner or later.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:20:50 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Interesting. Do you think Sprint has #3 locked up, or could T-Mobile at least challenge it? Does the same logic apply to handset makers?

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:20:50 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Just about every market analysis we've done on the Pyramid Research side indicates that mobile services is a three-horse race. You need to get to No. 3 to succeed. Fourth place won't cut it. And congratulations on the promotion!

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:20:50 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Well, that's not me. I recently got promoted from headline/blurb writer to actual story writer.


I think T-Mobile is playing it smart by positioning itself as the challenger - saying it's more open than others (BYOiPhone), bringing back unlimited data and undercutting pricing. It's really all it can do right now. Of course, expediting its LTE rollout would help too.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:20:50 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Then there are those who preferred AT&T when it really WAS AT&T. That group may include the LR headline/blurb writers who still refer to Ma Bell.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:20:49 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it -- in fourth place. Ask any Mets fan.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:20:49 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Thanks, Jim (I never knew that was your name!!). Makes sense - and in realitly, for wireless, it may always be the big two, and then number three and then other niche players. 


PS. I can definitely see Sprint as Jan, and all "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha" about AT&T.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:20:49 PM
re: T-Mobile's New CEO to Lead Challenger Strategy

Sarah,


 


The Top 3 thing is a pretty widely held belief throughout the consulting world if nowhere else.  Definitely a Jack Welsh thing for example.  It is applied through most markets.  One challenge is that in a narrow enough viewpoint you can almost always get to number 3 (For example - Jan was in the top 3 of the Brady Bunch girl children - Top 2 taken by Age!).


 


Jim

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