T-Mobile CEO crashes AT&T CES party, gets bounced

T-Mobile CEO crashes AT&T party, gets bounced

T-Mobile's brash CEO John Legere is no shrinking violet. He has a reputation for speaking his mind (sometimes peppering his public speeches with salty language) and lately he and his company have been going full-bore against bigger rival AT&T. So it's perhaps little surprise that word's come that Legere crashed AT&T's CES party last night, and got bounced in the process, according to re/code.

AT&T had popular rap musician Macklemore headline their lavish private event Monday night at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, and Legere - a self-described Macklemore fan - secured a pass. Legere made no attempt to conceal his identity - he was wearing a magenta T-shirt sporting the T-Mobile logo underneath his leather jacket. Soon after security guards appeared and escorted him from the premises, threatening to charge him with trespassing if he stayed.

You can knock Legere for a juvenile prank if you want, but AT&T look like idiots. They either didn't realize or didn't care that tossing him out of the party was not only going to make them look like jerks but also generate huge publicity for T-Mobile. Of course, Legere knows that his effort was good publicity - his Twitter feed is full of retweets from fans recounting his adventures last night. This is ahead of T-Mobile's full press conference at CES on Wednesday, where Legere has hinted that the company will unveil the next phase of their "Uncarrier" plan.

Lately T-Mobile and AT&T have been in the middle of two very public campaigns against each other - AT&T announced a program that rewards defecting T-Mobile customers with up to $450 if they switch service, while Legere himself called the move "desperate". Legere's counterpart at AT&T, Ralph de la Vega, says that his company has more reliable service - you can check the AT&T coverage map and compare it with T-Mobile's to judge for yourself.

On Monday T-Mobile and AT&T's larger rival Verizon - the nation's number one wireless provider - announced a massive spectrum licensing deal that will enable T-Mobile to improve coverage inside buildings and over greater areas in key markets throughout the US.

Source: re/code

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Solamar says:

Love or hate him, he has AT&T's number! lol. He's certainly not afraid to push back at the big boys, and that generally endears T-Mobile to many as the underdog being scrappy.

Hopefully they secure enough spectrum to start pushing into rural areas... thats where they fail for me.. It's largely EDGE service there... They desperately need to improve on that front.

While in the city, I get great LTE though... when you have it, it's great.. Sprint, ironically, even when you have LTE, it sucks. heh. It's like high-end EDGE in many places.. Sprints backbone network is very poor compared to the other 3.

Becjr says:

What a douche.

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Becjr says:

If Legere is such a fan of the rapper, he should've been there as a fan, not as the CEO of a rival company seeking to make a scene under the guise of a "fan". Behaving juvenile is not genius and is unbecoming as a head of a company such as Verizon.

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93Aero says:

He's T-Mobiles CEO not Verizon.

Becjr says:

Good catch - I stand corrected. Thank you.

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Peter Cohen says:

I disagree. AT&T should have let him stay - it would have amounted to absolutely nothing except maybe a couple of bent noses among AT&T's senior staff. All tossing him did was make them look like total assholes, and generated huge publicity for T-Mobile. In short, Legere played AT&T like a fiddle.

Like usual.

Becjr says:

I completely agree with you. To me, he obviously went there w/the intention of getting someone all riled up - it's a classic attention ploy.
AT&T could've made better use by putting him on stage & saying,
"See? Even John Legere wants to party with us!"

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BenRoethig says:

I love this guy. We need more CEOs with fire and will pull a PR stunt. Everything is getting so bland.

Dark_Blu says:

Give AT&T THE BUSINESS, T-Mobile. Someone had to shake up the market. It sure as heck wasn't going to be Sprint.

asuperstarr says:

Legere just wanted to see Macklemore and sing out loud "Can't Hold Us" ( so we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us, Like the ceiling can't hold us.

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asuperstarr says:

He only want to see Macklemore, gotta love it.

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HelloNeuman says:

Bounce that T-Loser asshole!

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williamsbh76 says:

AT&T: adding to their "bunch of assholes" lore!