5,000 T-Mobile Employees Lost Their Jobs Post-Merger While Ex-CEO John Legere Saw A $137 Million Golden Parachute

from the uncarrier-no-more dept

To be clear, former T-Mobile CEO John Legere did some amazing things with T-Mobile. After regulators blocked AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile in 2011 (which wound up being a very good thing), he took the $3 billion break up fee and turned an also-ran into a major thorn in the side of AT&T and Verizon. Legere accomplished this by (gasp) generally treating consumers well, eliminating annoyances like long-term contracts, sneaky fees, and many other telecom industry mainstays. He also did it by embracing an entertaining, wise ass persona in an industry not known for having a sense of humor.

But then, T-Mobile owners Deutsche Telekom decided it would be a good idea to throw all of this away by pursuing a $26 billion merger with Sprint. That suddenly forced Legere into a position where he had to behave exactly like the companies he'd just spent a decade making fun of. That included lying a lot about the benefits of the deal as the company tried to sell the Trump administration on the competition and job-eroding megadeal (that wound up not being particularly difficult, since the industry-allied Trump FCC and DOJ didn't care about hard data).

Technically, Legere only worked for three months in 2020, but nabbed a $137 million exit package according to new data:

"Legere's 2020 compensation was revealed yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (see pages 49 and 50). Legere was previously paid $27.8 million in the full year of 2019 and $66.5 million in 2018, mostly in the form of stock awards. His 2020 compensation of $137.2 million did not include any stock awards—instead, it consisted of a $136.55 million severance payment, $600,000 in salary, and $50,000 in reimbursement for legal fees."

Legere certainly had a comfy exit, also offloading his $17.5 million Central Park West apartment to Giorgio Armani on his way out of town.

Of course, you're supposed to ignore (and most of the US press certainly will) the fact that Legere repeatedly promised in print that the Sprint merger would result in a massive surge in new jobs. That never happens in the wake of telecom consolidation, and soon enough, the company was busy laying off 5,000 employees. Unions and Wall Street analysts predict the layoffs could get as high as 15-30,000 as redundant positions are inevitably eliminated over the next few years.

Of course, there was always ample evidence that Legere's brash, pink high-top wearing trash talking persona was more caricature than reality. After all, Legere supported the FCC's decision to lobotomize its consumer protection authority, opposed net neutrality, and mocked the EFF when they pointed out the company was lying. But the mask really slipped during the merger sales pitch, which not only involved lying constantly about the benefits of the deal, but hiring Trump ally Corey Lewandowski, and throwing cash at Trump's DC hotel to improve merger approval chances.

Given the Sprint merger reduced US wireless sector competition by 25%, and the FCC currently has its hands tied behind its back due to the net neutrality repeal, which T-Mobile supported (which again neutered most FCC authority, not just net neutrality rules), it's inevitable that investors now pressure T-Mobile to behave more and more like AT&T and Verizon over the next few years. That means more empty promises, more efforts to nickel-and-dime subscribers, and a steadily eroding effort to seriously compete on price. All the stuff Legere repeatedly insisted he was opposed to. That's not speculation or opinion, it's what happens every time a country decides to give a middle finger to competition by allowing mindless consolidation in telecom. There are 40 years of indisputable evidence.

Again, Legere deserves all the praise in the world for turning T-Mobile into a heavyweight champion in wireless. But at the same time, he also deserves ample criticism for the ease in which he was willing to throw all of that in the toilet, and the grotesque amount of falsehoods and Trump ass kissing that accompanied the effort along the way.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: broadband, competition, jobs, john legere, lies, mergers, promises, wireless
Companies: sprint, t-mobile


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2021 @ 3:02pm

    Save us, Elon Musk, you're our only hope!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2021 @ 5:13pm

    Of course, you're supposed to ignore (and most of the US press certainly will) the fact that Legere repeatedly promised in print that the Sprint merger would result in a massive surge in new jobs. That never happens in the wake of telecom consolidation

    You know what else never happens? Any negative consequences for the liar. Nobody prosecutes them, nobody files shareholder lawsuits for misrepresentation. And after obtaining so much money that they'll get 5.5 million dollars per year if they never work again... they never seem to have any trouble getting work again.

    Lying is good business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 7:21am

    T-Mobile is the Trump of telecommunications

    All lies and hype and grifting, no substance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.