T-Mobile CEO Legere to step down next year, shares slip


(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) said on Monday Chief Executive Officer John Legere will step down on April 30 in favor of Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert but not before completing its merger with U.S. rival Sprint Corp (S.N).

The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier is locked in a lengthy battle to close its merger with Sprint as it faces a state attorneys general lawsuit that alleges the merger would be harmful to consumers.

Legere’s announcement to step down follows several media reports that he was in talks to lead office-sharing startup WeWork.

However, Reuters reported last week that he was not a leading candidate for the WeWork CEO role.

Ongoing talks with WeWork could also represent a conflict, given that Legere is seeking to renegotiate with SoftBank the $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint Corp.

T-Mobile, majority owned by Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), offered to buy Sprint, controlled by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) in April last year. SoftBank is also the controlling shareholder of WeWork.

“I’m not going anywhere soon,” Legere said in a tweet on Monday, while sharing a link to an article that detailed new T-Mobile’s 5G roadmap.

“This is all part of a multi-year plan and until April 30, I’ll continue as CEO, focusing on a smooth transition and getting our merger with Sprint done for America.”

Legere will remain on the company’s board after stepping down as CEO.

Sievert, also a member of T-Mobile’s board, has worked alongside Legere for the last seven years.

“Over the past two years (Sievert) has worked closely with Legere on T-Mobile’s merger planning, integration, and regulatory approval initiatives,” T-Mobile said in a statement.

Shares of T-Mobile fell about 2% in premarket trading.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva