T-Mobile US Inc. says Mike Sievert, president and chief operating officer of the company, will take over May 1 from John Legere as chief executive, with T-Mobile promising continuity as the driving force of its recent success departs.
Legere, 61, the shaggy-haired self-appointed industry rebel who led T-Mobile out of fourth place among wireless carriers to the brink of a merger deal with Sprint Corp., is leaving April 30 at the end of his current contract but will remain a board member. The move is a long-planned transition.
“As the architect of the Uncarrier strategy and the company’s complete transformation, John has put T-Mobile US in an incredibly strong position,” Tim Hoettges, CEO of parent Deutsche Telekom and chairman of T-Mobile US, said in a statement. “I have the highest respect for his performance as a manager and as a friend, I am very grateful to him for the time together.”
T-Mobile shares rose 12 cents, to $78.19. Since Legere was named CEO on Sept. 19, 2012, T-Mobile has generated a more than fivefold return for investors, including dividends, compared with a 148% gain for the S&P 500 index.
Legere had been rumored to be a candidate for the CEO job at WeWork, but a person familiar with the matter said last week that he was sticking with his current role for now. It’s unclear if the timing could put him in the running for that job, but Legere said on a conference call Monday that he “was never having discussions” about the WeWork position.
Legere said he was fielding offers but probably wouldn’t decide on his next move until May, adding that his next job won’t be at a direct competitor to T-Mobile.
Sievert, as chief marketing officer and later as operating chief, was the brains behind many of T-Mobile’s popular initiatives. In his seven years at T-Mobile, the 49-year-old executive ran the “uncarrier” campaign, which featured no contracts, unlimited data plans and free taco Tuesdays. The promotions helped attract millions of new subscribers.