T-Mobile USA has named who the company expects to lead them to future greatness: It's John Legere, the former chief executive of Global Crossing.
Legere takes the reigns effective Saturday from interim boss Jim Alling, who is expected to return to his role as chief operating officer. Former CEO Phillip Humm resigned in June.
T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom is bullish on Legere, saying he has the skills to "lead the business into the future." But not everyone is sold.
“There was some call – including [among the analysts at Yankee Group] – for T-Mobile to think well outside the box in picking a new CEO, bringing in a true outsider who would focus on changing the rules of the wireless game (something necessary when you are the market’s fourth player, as T-Mobile is today)," said Rich Karpinski, senior analyst at Yankee Group. "The choice of Legere is not that."
Nonetheless, Karpinski says T-Mobile has been making some good moves lately and has the opportunity to recapture some of the customers that it has lost since the company's proposed merger with AT&T collapsed several months ago. He says launching an unlimited data plan and planning a SIM card offering targeting the iPhone 5 – even though the carrier doesn't have the right to sell it – both show promise.
If all else fails, the analyst says that Legere "will no doubt have the T-Mobile ship in strong operational shape to explore a variety of M&A alternatives that may be necessary to compete with larger rivals."
Legere's former company, Global Crossing, was purchased by CLEC Level 3 Communications last year for $3 billion.