T-Mobile's CEO John Legere, who took the helm back in September, pulled no punches in his remarks during the carrier's press conference here at CES tonight. Legere started off earnestly enough, talking up T-Mobile's rapid pace of network upgrades in recent months and promising that when his company finally gets around to rolling out LTE later this year, the speeds customers see will be "smoking." But before long, Legere, someone clearly unafraid to speak his mind, took aim at his larger competitors in the mobile space.
AT&T drew particular criticism, with Legere — like so many others before him — labeling Ma Bell's network as "crap" in New York City. Verizon didn't come out unscathed either, with Legere joking, "the way they covered those dust bowl states with LTE I think is admirable." Shared data plans also came under fire. "A 5-gigabyte, 10-device shared data plan, when Joe Schmoe Jr. starts to watch porn on his phone, isn't gonna work." And even after crediting Verizon's network as "beautiful," he concluded "they're not the cool company."
"The way they covered those dust bowl states with LTE I think is admirable."
Legere's aggressive attitude is going to translate into a similarly aggressive approach to advertising against T-Mobile's much bigger foes. He even tossed out some ideas he'd come up with for such ads. "There was a guy, a handsome looking guy like me," the CEO began. "And the caption said, 'I saw more honesty on a Match.com ad than AT&T's coverage maps." Legere quickly admitted his marketing department won't be adopting such a harsh tone, but his remarks made clear that the new T-Mobile — now pursuing a very different path than its competitors — is being led by a refreshingly blunt executive.