T-Mobile CEO John Legere crashes AT&T’s CES shindig, almost gets charged with trespassing



If you thought the friendly, competitive spats between T-Mobile and AT&T were already ridiculous, wait until you get a load of this. T-Mobile CEO John Legere somehow found his way into AT&T’s CES party last night. Bold. Gutsy. Badassness. Any number of adjectives would accurately define this stunt.

To hear it from his own mouth, Legere says all he and his Tmo buddies wanted to do was hear Macklemore perform. It didn’t take long for AT&T’s bigwigs to catch on: “All of a sudden these gigantic goons said ‘Can I talk to you over here,'” Legere reveals about the incident.

The T-Mobile CEO got so deep into AT&T’s skin that the company actually considered filing charges for trespassing if Legere didn’t remove himself from the premises. It didn’t help that all of this took place just as AT&T CEO Ralphh De La Vega took the stage to talk about AT&T’s partnership with Audi, ironic considering they were replacing T-Mobile as the official provider of wireless connectivity in their cars.

This entire thing reads out like a fairy tale that’s almost hard to believe. But this is real, and you better believe T-Mobile isn’t done making noise at this year’s CES. The carrier is holding a press conference Wednesday to announce unCarrier phase 4.0, which should bring us some huge news. We’re not sure what to expect just yet, but it won’t be long before T-Mobile checks off the first item on their New Years’ resolutions list.

[via re/code]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Love it! Dude is a real O.G., lol

  2. I’ve been following john legere’s shenanigans since JUMP was announced and switched to them last July. In addition to bring a very satisfied customer I keep thinking this guy can’t possibly be anymore awesome then he proves me wrong every time. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s announcement!

    1. I switched around the same time after AT&T did their level best to do nothing at all for me (refusing to unlock a phone I bought outright from one of their stores when travelling abroad, for example). I really like the way T-Mo do things even though their network is clearly inferior. When questioning upgrades in my area I mailed Legere directly and one of his ‘corporate response team’ followed up with me three times to ensure I was informed. AT&T say they are not concerned with T-Mo. The next few years will prove whether they are right or complacent.

      1. Believe for my needs t-mobile has been the best network coverage I’ve ever had. I know it’s different for others but I’m in Houston and work in a metal building AT&T and Verizon signals die as soon as you walk in and sprint sort of works but is flakey and drops a lot. But I’m sitting here on 3 bars with LTE right now as my co workers look on with envy :D

  3. Its really nice to see a big corporate CEO like that to actually have a personality! I’m not sure what it is but we always portray corporate people as very to themselves and afraid of getting out in the public. John Legere, not a chance and for that he deserves A+ in my book and an example of how CEO’s need to begin following

    1. As a business administration major the guy is becoming a roll model

      1. Actually he is becoming a troll model. This is how you troll effectivley. I couldn’t be happier with T-Mobile right now and I’m loving legere and his personality.

    2. Most corporate types feel they won’t get any respect or be taken seriously if they don’t act like an appropriately boring stiff all the time. In reality, most people appreciate the human side of humans, and the risk of getting fired is very minimal. (And even if fired, corp execs live in a circlejerk world where there’s always enough $ and jobs to go around)

      see also: the “ancient” Cluetrain Manifesto —

    3. AT&T could have turned this into a PR moment by simply calling him out by thanking him for and graciously coming to support TMO’s event. They wouldn’t have needed to bring him on stage, but a friendly jab from the stage with perhaps a spotlight to point him out wouldn’t have been so bad. Suddenly both companies look mature and are loved by the public.

  4. Love this dude, makes me like T-Mo that much more…..if AT&T played it cool, it wouldn’t be a story….

    1. This is true. It’s not a big deal for a telecom CEO to be at any of the CES events. Getting kicked out because everyone wants to tweet photos of you is however.

  5. This guy is AWESOME. Hope there’s something of substance on Wednesday.

  6. “T-Mobile CEO John Legere somehow found his way into AT&T’s CES party last night. Bold. Gutsy. Badassness. Any number of adjectives would accurately define this stunt.”

    Pathetic would probably be the best one though. Completely unsurprising that this clownshoes behavior plays well on the internet though, since the overwhelming majority of people who post here seem to have no concept of reality.

    1. If AT&T would have played it cool….he has all access, why not go see what the competition is up to?

    2. you must great at parties!

    3. YOU have no concept of reality. He wasn’t there causing a scene he had approved passes and was there to see macklemore perform. At&t kicked him out purely for the amount of attention he was getting from everyone and thought it would be bad press.

      1. Um yeah his presence was just enough for AT&T to get their panties in a bunch. So the whole it was bad press theory that didn’t turn out like they hoped because they couldn’t possibly look like dbags anymore than they already do right? nah this AT&T we are talking about.

    4. If he really wanted to crash their party he could have used disguise..

      1. He was wearing one, of a happy att customer they were so surprised on existed they let him in.

        1. funniest comment so far.

    5. Thank you, Miss Manners. Now we now how to color inside the lines. As long as we only use corporate grey and the only lines are borders of the picture.

      1. Is it okay if I also use neutral grey instead of only corporate grey, Sir? I don’t want to rock the boat and get fired over a little fun initiative :)

        1. ….Ahh yes. Pull out your 15% cards and calibrate first, kids….

      2. T-Mobile was in the tank, they are making a profit again. Attacking Att was the smart move here. His antics are so tame I cant believe people get upset.

    6. Really, says the person with a grand theft auto icon.

      1. Lol!

      2. Hahaha

      3. lol. well done sir

  7. That was very unclassy of John Legere for crashing AT&T PRIVATE…I repeat….PRIVATE party. No invitation? Harassing invitees. It’s embarrassing. His data network isn’t even on par with the big guys and I know because I have a Nexus 5 using T-mobile account. IMO, Legere shouldn’t do do this. For the sake of T-Mobile and their possible corporate buyers, their network is so mediocre all AT&T & Verizon could do is offer unlimited data or increase bandwidth (again) and T-Mobile would be out of business. All I will say is this, John Legere better deliver the goods because I still can’t get reliable data coverage in NEW YORK CITY.

    1. Actually it says in another article that he had invites. But either way who cares. If he crashed it he crashed it. I’m sure taking pictures with someone is not harassing and unless you were there we have no idea what exactly happened.And of course their network needs improvements. That is what the man is doing. Also my cousins have tmobile in new york and they say they have really good signal with LTE coverage. I would have your phone checked or maybe your in a different area of new york i guess.

    2. You might want to exchange your device then. I live in NYC and my coverage is superb. The only time i have an issue is when i go into basements of large buildings. I had hspa+/LTE almost anywhere i went, and I’m using a nexus 4 with the LTE hack so i dont even have a good lte signal. Yes, all AT&T and Verizon have to do to put Tmobile out of business is do a few things they arent currently doing, might wanna throw prices in there too.

      1. I get 42 mbps over LTE on my Nexus 4 around my house. I’m curious what it could do with a LTE radio with a better amplifier.

    3. Read the facts please. He got passes from the rapper who was there. Came in to watch the show and took a pic with a CNET blogger who saw the whole thing. He was then removed from the party. And just because your coverage sucks doesn’t mean everyone’s does. AT&T was the worst cell company I have ever been with so I walked away and never looked back. Personally in enjoying the show I love to see corporate goons get a good kick in the balls from a gutsy guy like legere and I hope he keeps it up

    4. I’m in CT and I’ve got LTE everywhere I go, and its faster than the other two. Granted it cant break through a paper bag most days but im on wifi most of the time.

    5. I get 42-45 mbps over LTE around my apartment in San Jose. If that isn’t “on par with the big guys” I don’t know what is.

    6. I don’t know what New York you live in buddy but you obviously have a defective phone or something. Live in The Big Apple and travel often to Long Island, Queens and Weshchester. LTE almost everywhere I go. Currently using Galaxy Note II & Blackberry Z10 No problem with T-mobile service with my three lines. FYI Legere had a pass to be there and he didn’t just stroll in through a side door. Where in the article did it say he was harassing anyone?

    7. FIrst off, “unclassy”? I think classless would be the right word. I may be wrong there, though. Second, THEY ADDED 4 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS LAST YEAR. After losing them for years and years. Whatever this guy is, he’s doing it the right way. Tmo is now a threat, and a growing one.

  8. Hate AT&T and like some of the things TMobile is doing but I think he would be helping his company more by focusing his time and energy on building more towers to improve the quality of TMobile’s service.

    1. So he should be out in the field ACTUALLY constructing towers?

      I think giving his company personality that people can associate with is an even larger tasks for large companies nowadays…

      1. Lol

    2. Who’s to say he’s not doing that? They just announced yesterday 14 more new LTE cities. They will probably surpass sprint if they haven’t already in LTE coverage.

      1. This was exactly my reply…The focus here I believe is not so much as AT&T and Big Red..but trying to take that #3 Spot from Sprint.. #babysteps

    3. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the CEO of the 4th largest mobile network in the US personally builds the towers himself. I may be wrong though.

  9. Even though I’m with Sprint I can’t help but love this guy, if Hesse had balls and wasn’t so corporate he might could have growth like T-Mobile.

  10. Probably because nobody came to the Tmobile private party. Only 3 of their 5 customers showed up.

    1. lolol oh man you burned them. “Only 3 of their 5 customers…” lololol. Dude, you should be on a late night show with lines like that. lolololololol

    2. Its a much better service now, Ive had all three- ATT Verizion are much better still outside of metro areas, but this company is fun to be with.

    3. Randall Stevenson? Is that you???

  11. I can’t Believe I’m going to say this. Go T-Mobile!

  12. Mmmm.. Corporate circlejerk

  13. They actually had passes from Macklemore to be there.

  14. Still “all show and no go” to me. T-Mobile may seem to be making waves (99% of consumers have no knowledge of the supposed waves though) but not much change in their well established 4th place coverage. That’s a shame because all they are doing now is giving ideas to the carriers that matter.

    1. They just bought low band spectrum from Verizon which is a big deal. That will allow them to deploy to certain rural areas for cheap.

  15. Bush league stunt. I’m still considering switching to T-Mobile when my Sprint contract is up,but this is not an adult act.

    1. “Adult” acts got them nothing but lost customers for years. Now they are attacking the core of the issue with wireless carriers, and are forcing the other three to go along with them. We all win on that basis, so be grateful for this man’s vision and his willingness to be childish and shake things up.

  16. lmao, nice trolling sir. Very nice.

  17. Crazy..

  18. Amusing stunt. It’s easy to not like AT&T. I think a lot of past and current AT&T customers will be happy to see him embarrassing AT&T a bit.

    I imagine AT&T tossed him out because they were worried what kind of stunt he might have pulled if he were allowed to stay. By leaving without a fuss he managed to make it appear that AT&T overreacted.

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