John Legere helped turn T-Mobile around. Is WeWork next?
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the beleaguered co-working giant is “in discussions” with Legere to lead the company.
WeWork is searching for someone to replace founder Adam Neumann, who resigned in September amid controversy over his leadership and months of turmoil, including a cancelled IPO, layoffs, and other issues.
T-Mobile and WeWork declined to comment when contacted by GeekWire.
Since joining T-Mobile in 2012, Legere has helped turn around the company, guiding it to 26 straight quarters — and counting — with more than one million net customer additions. Since he became CEO, Legere drove an aggressive campaign in which T-Mobile branded itself the “Un-carrier,” with new pricing strategies, subscriber benefits and promotions that forced rivals to change their own packages and promotions.
The result? T-Mobile’s customer count now tops more than 84.5 million and is the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier behind Verizon and ATT. Legere, known for guzzling Red Bull, running marathons, and his popular Slow Cooker Sunday cooking show, ranks No. 4 on Glassdoor’s Top CEOs list.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at Yale University’s School of Management, told CNBC in September that there’s “rumors out there that are starting to spread that he is the perfect guy for the job.” Legere’s unique leadership style, reputation for turning around companies, and his relationship with WeWork’s primary investor SoftBank through the pending merger with Sprint make him a good candidate to take over the co-working giant, Sonnenfeld said.
Following Neumann’s departure, interim CEO duties at WeWork are now split among two veteran tech execs: Sebastian Gunningham, who became the company’s vice chairman last year after an 11-year stint at Amazon, and Artie Minson, WeWork’s CFO and former Time Warner Cable president.
SoftBank spent $10 billion to take over WeWork last month and appointed Sprint chairman Marcelo Claure as chairman of WeWork.
In an investor factbook summarizing its most recent quarter, T-Mobile said it now expects that its merger with Sprint “will be permitted to close in early 2020.”