John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile | The Brave Ones


I don't shy away from anything sighs and

the magnitude of the companies that I

take on it takes takes a lot of courage

I still think of this period at t-mobile

is a moment in time it's a moment in

time to accomplish something historic my

management style is one of massive

communication there is no way that my

appear CEOs are gonna do this it

absolutely no way but it's a competitive

bandage I think it's worth millions


John Legend the outspoken hard-charging

CEO of t murder


she's like a superhero our employees

love the died what really broke


just filled that Network this what I did

John Leger really came up with a formula

that works I mean he had this somehow

this understanding that they were gonna

be the cool wireless company at t-mobile

and he was going to attract Millennials

in addition to some of the other

consumers and do it in part around his

own personality if you landed from Mars

and came here and saw this wireless

industry you would get back on your ship

and go back where you came from a lot of

people feel that companies themselves

are soulless that CEOs are buttoned down

and that if you do become anything other

than that it's going to hurt your

business model you are a living

breathing example that that's wrong

hello who's this Lisa what's up yeah

that's easy cuz most CEOs son there's a

stick to John but the stick is

completely in keeping with his company

that's why it's genuine he's a rebel he

was kind of a cultural alien at the

beginning and he was kind of a rock star

in a Symphony Orchestra and eventually

the orchestra learned and loved to play

rock with him


I was the middle you know a younger

brother younger sister older brother

older sister my father worked 42 years

for army intelligence whatever money he

had was in his pocket I was a bad kid I

would sit in class and they would ask a

question and I knew the answer cuz I was

pretty smart but instead I'd tell a joke

there's the schoolyard in all of us but

it's been beaten out of us and the

schoolyard was not beaten out of job I

was a very successful athlete but I had

a big strong Irish mother whose job was

to level the system the feedback would

be not as good as you'd think you're no

better than your brothers and sisters

and I think oh well okay thanks mother

and but good you know good good life I

want to go to the Olympics as a runner I

heard you ran a 406 you have for six

miles I'm very good and I was recruited

by Harbour I told my father there's no

way I'm gonna end up you know with those

kind of white button-down shirts and to

give him credit he just swallowed a knee

he let me go I'm at the University of

Massachusetts because it was a period of

time where all the top runners went

there I went to as a phys ed major I

moved out of prison when we had to do a

test where they asked you to do a budget

and let's decide how much you want to be

a phys ed teacher because here's how

much you're gonna make and then it

didn't you know it didn't match I

ultimately got a degree in accounting

and I was gonna go to a big aid

accounting firm but instead I went into

New England telephone and ultimately

reward for AT&T for 18 years which is

kind of funny he's a huge competitor

that's the other side of this I actually

ran for a shoe company over pisanka knee

and I worked for AT&T and they were

sponsoring the Olympic torch but I was

part of a group where we lived in these

mobile homes three or four times a day

they drop you out of the band and you'd

run with the torch many people know it

was a world-class marathon runner so

they give you this tour to the big

butane you know flame on the top and you

got a run you know like five minutes a

mile in this tour that level of

competitiveness which is individual as a

sport you know carries through in the

way he approaches his business so he

sets high expectations for himself that

transcends into what he expects

from others at the same time I still

have the the outfit it kind of doesn't

really fit then I went to Dell computer

because I realized that you know I I had

a lot more to give you know and I wanted

to break out of the big you know

hierarchy and it was a time when Michael

Dell was able to assemble a management

team of people all who could be CEOs but

went there instead to be part of a very

high-powered team I wouldn't have trade

that for anything so I was running Asia

than I ran in Europe and Asia and that's

you know when I left to run what was

called Asia Global Crossing so I

actually was separate and simultaneously

the CEOs of Asia Global Crossing and

Global Crossing wellville Crossing is

found for bankruptcy they stock has

fallen some 96% over the past years and

then I took Global Crossing through

Chapter eleven our biggest investors are

behind us we have a viable path forward

and it's about IP and it's a good day

for the company they all of a sudden

them home it's the first time I ever had

to think through the question what do

you do

I hated that question like what do you

do and I know I know

I'm reading Eckhart Tolle power of now

and I'm thinking well you know all this

and my friends and my doctor said dude

you gotta go back to work this is like

you know this is on I'm on match you

know I'm doing all this stuff I'm not a

kid and then this a headhunter came to

me and sort of asked as a favor you know

if I would go you know kind of interview

for this

we were in a very difficult situation in

the US we needed nothing less for the

marketing genius in order to turn the

company around the odds of me working

for Deutsche Telekom are like none you

know I'm thinking you know that's not

gonna happen

but the more I looked into it it seemed

to me that what was seen as a total mess

there was something there was a plan and

I actually remember having lunch with

him and he was debating whether he

should do it or not and we got to

talking about the challenge that was

there when I first met John my first

impression was here comes a very senior

and serious guy and he was dressed in a

very elegant dark suit but yet pink

laces of issues and that caught my

attention so I felt something in this

guy is different ice okay here's the

following like eight things and if we

can agree on these eight things you know

outcome but I'm really not that

interested and then he started speaking

and what he said made a ton of sense and

they were all the things we ultimately

did but you know what we're going to you

know spend on the network we're gonna

invest in the brand we're gonna merge

with MetroPCS etc we're gonna crawl over

to Apple and get the iPhone no matter

what we have to do and and we saw

eye-to-eye I am pleased to announce John

Leger has accepted the position of chief

executive officer for t-mobile USA

messages sent clearly t-mobile is here

to stay it's so many and it's so you

know like core to what I was made to do

and to think that I even thought about

it for more than two seconds it's

incredible you know in every story needs

a hero and read one needs ability you

know and with a hero and you know AT&T

was the villain and they took

Hackney slow-cooker Sunday that is an

incredible slope for vegetarians I just

I've some great recipes for you John are

you listening




pick up my phone and check my Twitter

and turn on CNBC and text with favor and

Kraemer me check and see good morning

from Guatemala

David guess what they have no CNBC at

this hotel I can't believe it

and I said Guatemala that's awesome and

he said huge call center sent me a

picture of the call center my phone and

Lifetime movie network magenta magenta

Monday and you're in my closet what do

you look for well maybe I already know

it's a little hot

t-shirts hectored magenta bike helmet

magenta sneakers magenta sandals magenta

happy magenta monday I have black jeans

the attire that he wears everywhere he's

like a walking billboard magenta and

black t-shirt it communicates right

there that I'm one of you you're one

with me and then hoodies and sneakers

and we're all in this together and when

I was in the Philippines and the call

center they gave me this shirt which

I've yet to find the right occasion to

wear but I'm sure it's a reason why it

works is cuz he's not a phony

what-you-see-is-what-you-get he speaks

to his customer very clearly and he's

intense but that pink I don't know about

the pain fee when I open my closet and I

just have to pick an outfit I know that

I'm wearing magenta today I feel super

prideful and wearing this

wearing our gear I love you know being a

walking billboard for t-mobile and we

really do believe magenta one of the

most satisfying moments you can witness

any day at 8 p.m. in any city in America

which is go watch the lights go out at a

Verizon store lights go out

the first thing those employees do is

get out of those clothes as fast as they

can watch a t-mobile store clothes and

out the door dressed in as much t-mobile

and magenta as they possibly can are my

employees and if they change it so

to put more on and then that's brand and

that's it it's a big deal if you didn't

know John and you just saw him you'd

come away thinking that John isn't a

sort of unbridled free spirit and the

like but John has a more sort of I think

button-down a conservative lifestyle

than maybe most people would otherwise

think I got here five years ago the

company was really in a bad way we were

the fastest shrinking wireless company

in America this company was in a

do-or-die kind of a situation we were

the average guys and actually we were at

the bottom I respect him so much because

he is fearless and when you're fearful

you're just another guy the biggest

problem with with t-mobile at the time

was that had just been a failed merger

between AT&T and t-mobile AT&T is

dropping its 39 billion dollar bid to

buy T Mobile in the face of pretty

fierce objections from both competitors

and US regulators we're either gonna be

extraordinarily successful or this is

gonna be you know a rolling disaster and

we were also a subsidiary of Deutsche

Telekom so I'm not a public company no

iPhone at the time when everybody had

the iPhone we announced we weren't just

going to survive we were gonna change

the wireless industry in the whole world

we started with a manifesto we stood for


the uncarrier stood for solving customer

pain points to fix a stupid broken

arrogant industry it's David versus

Goliath and he gives his employees a

sense that you know they're fighting the

big machines and they should work each

and every day you know in a mission to

unseat the incumbents and let the big

magenta machine sort of take lyft you

know and every story needs a hero and

one needs a villain you know and with a

hero and you know AT&T was like villain

and they took the bait he was like all

we have to do is look at AT&T and

Verizon and do what they're not doing we

are going to be the unn them and we're

going to turn the uncarrier customers

are living in fear or in shock of their

bill this is a big deal and I'm pissed

and when I get pissed it keeps me awake

at night and when I stay awake at night

we think of to do he takes a tool level

that is so in-your-face that you

actually stop and listen and isn't that

exactly what you need when you've got

four huge companies competing against

each other and there's no way that I was

gonna have the economics to compete with

AT&T and Verizon you want to be a CEO of

AT&T I passed it up a long time ago so I

knew I had to stick out I needed to get

us notice the big problem for dumb

dumber and yellow is that this mechanism

is working we're growing I'm not sure if

you're dumb or dumber does that take you

off or is it all sort of part of fun

yeah I you know to be honest I don't pay

any attention to it it's uh you know I

think it's worked for him we are the

worst thing never happened to it

I am right in your face aggressive to

them but on behalf of people the

assumption is that these high-and-mighty

do APPA lists that are raping you for

every penny you have if they could do

something nice for you they would hate

you I'm telling you he's willing to say

things that the other stodgy or CEOs are

unwilling to do while her whether it's

calling Verizon and AT&T Dumb and Dumber

though he never says which is which I

don't think he cares much at all about

Verizon and AT&T but I think he sees

that as a way to reframe the opportunity

that's ahead of us and it sure is a

thing for us to rally around I mean you

go talk to our frontline reps in there

like you know so intent on kicking the

asses over

of our competitors which has been kind

of refreshing and so he's a very active

communicator I think it has helped

without a doubt for not just the

identity of the company but for its

actual business if I fight with a big

player and win fifty percent of the time

that's two and a half times my market

sooner I probably do six or seven hours

a day just on social we remind you again

of of the the week come on iPhone 8 8

plus the watch no Nate

$300 trading special on the iPhone you

don't expect a CEO of a company to be

willing to spend that amount of time

engaging with customers it's something

really special

I think I'm causing CEOs a problem

because they CEOs will let to believe

you can't do this how can I help today I

think that other CEOs want to be as

social as John ledger is

I don't think 80 percent of them can be

and I don't think that 99 percent of

them could come across is genuine you

know the things can't do in social is it

has to be you you know if it ever

becomes and you can tell who's you know

if it's somebody being you they vote you

off the island Twitter is where I see

him most often I'm a hundred percent

accessible I've got almost 5 million

followers but my secondary followers 180

million my daughter should say oh you

know I want to talk to her you know so

and so and I said I'd watch this and

I'll text either above and beyond right

X Newt dog you kidding me why just nope

why would he text you ice okay you think

they all follow me on Twitter the ledger

emoji of course I knew it was a big deal

I've got a whole set of gear just the D

ammaji he's a mastermind of playing

social media so in a way he is the brand

and the brand is him mighty force team

the social media team there's a group of

them that you know watch on John's

handle to see if there's a customer

that's really upset and a lot of times I

won't just I'll reply or I'll say can I

call you you know I'll just call John's

engagement intensity and frequency in

communicating with customers that way

has had us build an entire social media

platform that doesn't exist in other

companies you know listen and do what

they tell you is sort of the management

philosophy and he leads by example on

that particular point he listens better

than anybody I know classic story from

John's early days he'd spend his

evenings listening in on customer care

calls I had problem my phone and they

say oh you ought to talk to sales nobody

calls to say I love you you know they

call when they're so frustrated and I

heard the way that they were taking care

of it and it was a big part of me

thinking that if I could get the whole

company to behave that way

and care about that customer so much

that we really could be different than

he came back in and told us as a

management team what we needed to do and

fix not the other way around I'm all

about the truly end you know and I

always hesitate talking to about I'm all

about the frontline retail and care reps

I mean I firmly believe that almost no

other interaction that company matters

besides those two

I often tell my frontline employees

everyone between me and you as the enemy

he's invested in the frontline he

connects with us one on one most CEOs

don't do that I don't see CEOs going

into retail locations or a call centers

and really trying to connect with the

people and really you know removing

those barriers he is a general in an

army of people who want to follow him

because he's one of them we made all of

our employee stockholders and he fought

hard for them because he believed there

was much more power and commitment if

you're an owner rather than just a

renter what we did was grab the parts

that were cruel and magentas cool he can

be charming on one hand and he could do

raucous Las Vegas nightclub act I'm

gonna make some brownies of these so

purple-ish prize Thank You Jonathan Asia



five years I've been trying to bring

justice to a broken wireless industry

and I won't stop until it's change for

the better

I ain't Batman I get Batman memorabilia

from everywhere because I've taken on

the Batman persona yeah I'm kind of

partial to all of it that's ledger dog


the original spokesperson in our ads

what do you think about my ideas I've

had the yes-man since I was a very young

manager I find it very helpful this is a

new addition my construction hat so when

I go to the lab I can use this

this is ledger doll ledger doll is

always here unless he's on the set

ledger doll fun fact is if you look at

almost any commercial or video blog that

we do he's in the commercial carriers

they want to screw you we just want to

take you to dinner and a movie you know

and all this stuff strange as it may

seem builds a connection with with that

same audience the young Millennials

that's what they want in a wireless

camera they want a wireless carrier with

the CEO has a doll hidden in the drum in

the commercial

he speaks to every man very clearly so I

do a slow-cooker Sunday show over on

Facebook live he is not approached me

with my slow cooker cookbook

I have aprons like my hat so deal I

don't know why John ledger has not done

that I have some great recipes for you

John are you listening

I do it every week no matter where I am

and he's funny it's naturally make

mistakes the cameras the wrong way I've

got you know emoji ledger crop today I

take it with me on trips I do it from a

hotel room today chicken soup

I have tons of companies that want to

collaborate chefs that want to

collaborate John Marshall snoop and

Martha want me to come do it on their

show we're gonna do a whole show on

sloka you can't cook slowly got a good

fan of our show tell but you're gonna

have to send your slow-cooker - you know

you're not the only one can I have this

this yes indeed the scale of it is off

the charts I'm gonna make some brownies

Annie's so purple cash prize

thank you John Alicia yeah it's a it's a

big deal have you seen my new book John

it's called slow cooker it's very very

energetic very colorful and talk with a

dollop of the Cochise talking but don't

underestimate how savvy is very this

isn't a game you know this is a

unbelievably valuable tool but it's a

competitive advantage I think it's worth

billions billions



he's ripping up the script changing the

industry because he doesn't care about

the mold that his predecessors are

working with walking into an industry

without years and years of experience in

that industry coming in and taking a

point of view I'm gonna be a rebel I'm

not gonna play by the rules I'm gonna

turn this upside down I'm not gonna ask

for permission I think that's great

he's a heroic figure in a landscape

filled with people who are just part of

a bland on I think that John absolutely

has transformed the history in many ways

you know this is an unparalleled story

he's a guy who's got just what I would

call incredible range he can be charming

on one hand and it can be a raucous Las

Vegas nightclub act on the other but

gent is cool

I think the magenta and the sneakers and

the hair are one thing but you know what

is really at the core of John is a very

genuine passion to drive the t-mobile

business I think he took a big leap of

faith you know and he's navigated about

you any really really well so I think

that was pretty bold and brave for him

it's smart to think that he's at the

endgame now I think he has a whole host

of things that he wants to do whole host

of goals that he wants to meet and I

think he's just getting started

five years from now t-mobile will be

easily the number one wireless planner

in America no question in my mind but

we'll also be part of an integrated

infrastructure convergence will take

place content and be more prevalent and

integrated but it'll be built around

this bread

I still think of this period at t-mobile

as a moment in time you know it's a it's

it's a it's a moment in time to

accomplish something historic so I love