T-Mobile's Legere Taunts Former Suitor Sprint Via Twitter Posts

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-08-11 Print this article Print
Legere Tweets

For his part, Sprint's Claure hasn't done much at all on Twitter, except to start following T-Mobile's and AT&T's Twitter feeds, which he did a week before he was named as the new CEO of Sprint. Clearly Claure knew he was moving to Sprint before the announcement. Otherwise, his Twitter activity is almost entirely about his soccer team.

While Legere's Twitter activity slowed some over the next few days, that's not to suggest that he's given up on needling Sprint, or the rest of the industry for that matter. His Twitter feed continued to predict Sprint's demise while picking on other industry practices such as charging for going over the data limit on an account.

But Legere wasn't done with Sprint. His taunts about T-Mobile taking over Sprint's third-place spot continued for the rest of the week.

Then he started needling Sprint directly again, this time suggesting ways in which Sprint could raise some money just in case SoftBank didn't have enough. "Think @Sprint may need to turn to Kickstarter if they don’t make something happen for their customers soon!"

While following John Legere on Twitter can be entertaining, it's also instructive. To a considerable extent, Legere's personality is also the personality of his company. He comes across as brash, sometimes profane, and always pushy, but in a good way as long as you're not the competition. His whole UnCarrier schtick depends on it, and so far it's working.

After all, T-Mobile, brash, profane or not, has been growing by a million subscribers a quarter recently. Sprint is shrinking by a 250,000 per quarter. While you can't ascribe those differences to a Twitter feed, it's clear that Legere's out-of-the-box thinking, which he expresses through Twitter, plays a major role.

How will Sprint's Claure stack up against Legere? That's hard to say, but we may find out more at his first company-wide meeting with employees, which is scheduled for Aug. 14. Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son has tasked Claure with turning Sprint around, with his first effort to cut costs at Sprint, according to reports in Bloomberg.

Unfortunately, that tasking coupled with Claure's reported remarks about Sprint being labor intensive suggest that his first priority may well be a broad program of layoffs.

It's hard to see how Sprint is going to turn its business around quickly on the backs of a workforce that's about to suffer a massive layoff, while being led by a CEO that's never run a wireless company of any sort before, but instead was the founder of Brightstar, which is part of the mobile supply chain as a device distributor. He may eventually pull it off, but it's not likely to happen for a long while after Legere's prediction that Sprint will drop to the number 4 U.S. wireless carrier comes to pass.


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