John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, is typically not a corporate leader who follows convention in any way. So it is no shock that Leger this week posted several tweets on Twitter announcing that his company is dumping the traditional idea of preorders for the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 smartphones and moving directly to accepting final orders for customers that will ship out as soon as T-Mobile can get the new devices.
New smartphone preorders have been around for some time for mobile carriers to line up their customer orders, prepare their inventories and shipping systems and get the latest devices out to hungry customers.
But for Legere, of course, that would be boring.
“I heard you!” Legere tweeted on Aug. 17. “You want to preorder and get your new Samsung devices pronto. So, we’re going to speed this up and skip preorders altogether!”
Instead, in his usual counter-traditional manner, he had a better idea. “We’re opening up #Note5 and #GalaxyS6Plus ordering starting Tuesday, 6 a.m. PT—no preorder needed. AND we’re going to start shipping ASAP!” Legere tweeted a short time later.
The upcoming Samsung flagship smartphones were launched on Aug. 13 and will be available in stores on Aug. 21.
So why are Legere’s actions notable?
It’s because Legere, who openly curses as part of his daily vocabulary during earnings calls, customer meetings, product announcements and other IT events and wears bright pink T-Mobile T-shirts and black jeans to events—sometimes with a casual suit jacket—is his own man and doesn’t think twice about setting the mobile establishment on its ear anytime, any day. For T-Mobile, he may be the company’s biggest asset.
What Legere gives T-Mobile is a huge personality and a leader who is not shy about plastering his company’s name, services and performance anywhere he can in social media circles. The guy posts multiple times a day, often complaining about rivals and their leaders, as well as making a spectacle of himself and his company.
More power to him, I say.
Ask an average consumer the name of T-Mobile’s CEO, and I bet there are plenty of people who know him by reputation and by name. That’s not the case for the CEOs of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, I would bet.
So sure, Legere does things differently. He dumps preorders for actual orders—which may not be that big a deal in the real world—but he gets heard and he gets watched.
Legere is a CEO with a desire to do things a little differently and to try new things. He continues to generate good publicity for his company by just being himself, a natural huckster. And, that, friends, is a good thing for T-Mobile.