John Legere is the 57-year-old CEO of T-Mobile. His rockstar attitude puts all other CEOs in the industry to shame.
He isn’t afraid to trash-talk the competition, get kicked out of parties or give the impression that he is absolutely insane just to win. “Winning is fun, but when somebody else can lose, it’s even funner,” he told Fast Company. “Declare victory, designate an enemy. Attack that enemy. The bigger the enemy, the better.”
A native of Massachusetts, Legere wanted to become a gym teacher before he found out what they got paid, so he decided to study business instead.
Today, he’s typically found clad in his custom sneakers, jeans, a magenta T-Mobile T-shirt and leather jacket. He may or may not be found riding a Segway through the office and constantly sipping on a Red Bull.
Legere loves to trash-talk, whether it’s bashing AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, or just getting under another CEO’s skin, like Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
Legere was appointed CEO of T-Mobile in 2013 and raised the company from the depths of irrelevancy with his “Un-carrier” strategy, which doesn’t tie customers to contracts like competing companies and has been a hit with millennials. Because of T-Mobile’s recent success, Legere has been paid handsomely — he pulled in $29.2 million in 2013 and $18.6 million in 2014.
While Legere’s eccentric character gives off the essence of madness, there is a well-educated genius underneath all of that. Legere received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts, a master of science degree as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow at MIT, a master of business administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and he completed a program for management development at Harvard Business School.
Legere’s alter-ego is Batman — when he’s not sporting the T-Mobile logo somewhere on his body, you can bet the Batman logo will be visible. He truly is the hero-CEO that T-Mobile deserves and the one the internet needs.
Legere previously worked as an executive for AT&T’s Asia-Pacific unit, global strategy and business development for nearly 20 years before joining Dell to run their global operations. He then joined Asia Global Crossing, a fiber optics firm, and took over as CEO for 10 years, saving it from the brink of bankruptcy before the company was sold off for $3 billion in 2011. The following year, he joined T-Mobile.
During CES 2014, Legere launched an expletive-laden offensive against T-Mobile’s rivals. He called Verizon’s family plan “one of the biggest evils in this industry” and said of their strategy: “That is total horse shit. A family plan is nothing more than a contract on super steroids with staggered dates — a complete life sentence.”
He also made fun of AT&T for being a predictable corporation: “I forgot one: AT&T. AT&T is a total source of amusement for me because they are the one that takes my bullshit. Dumb move. They take the bait. And they talk in corporate speak.”
Legere also has a doll that sports his likeness — the little Legere even has his own Twitter account
which serves as another platform for the human version to voice his infinite wisdom.
Legere was a competitive runner on a national level for the University of Massachusetts and still runs in marathons and race events with his employees for charity.
In January of 2014, Legere famously crashed AT&T’s developer party in Las Vegas where Macklemore was set to perform the night before CES started. Unfortunately, he was escorted out of the party by security after AT&T became aware of his presence through a selfie taken by CNET reporter Roger Cheng.
He told the press afterwards: “I just wanted to hear Macklemore.” Legere ended up throwing his own party a few weeks later featuring a concert by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in Los Angeles.
When he’s not flying between T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Washington headquarters and his other home in New York City, he spends his time traveling and exercising with his family.
Here’s to John Legere, the badass boss who makes being a CEO look like a lot of fun.