(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.(O) the Chief Executive Officer, John Legere, is to step down next year, the company said on Monday, less than three weeks before it’s going to be a trial to determine the fate of a planned $26.5 billion merger with smaller rival Sprint Corp (S. N).
The third-largest U.S. mobile service provider, will go to trial on Feb. 9 is used for the control of an attorney general’s lawsuit alleges that the merger would be harmful to the consumer.
T-Mobile is said to Loose, it will remain as CEO until April 30, and will be succeeded by President and Chief Operating Officer, Mike Sievert. Loose, it will continue to be a part of T-Mobile’s board of directors.
Legere, the outspoken architect of the marketing and business strategy has helped T-Mobile become well-known as an innovator in the wireless industry, said that the plan for the follow-up had been a long time in the works.
“A CEO with a board that doesn’t have a good plan of action for the follow-up, the operation will fail,” Legere said on a conference call with analysts. “It’s Mike’s time. He was ready for it.”
T-Mobile continues to focus on the closing of the merger with Sprint, Legere said.
“I feel very good, and that is what we have as the basis for the completion of the deal, and it makes me feel just as good, if not better, of winning this test,” he added.
T-Mobile is also in talks with Sprint to extend their merger agreement that was to expire Nov. 1. At a reduced price for a Sprint would be able to be a part of the deal.
Legere said on Monday that the shareholders of the company has been in the works for a new contract, but said he could not provide a time frame.
Legere also said that he has never been in discussions to enter WeWork, according to the news reports, had a “tough time” for T-Mobile. The japanese Softbank Group Corp (9984.(T), is the controlling shareholder in both Sprint and WeWork.
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Sievert, who is also a member of T-Mobile’s board of directors has worked Loose over the last seven years.
“It is widely expected that John will leave next year, so this won’t come as a shock to everyone,” said Craig Moffett, analyst at MoffettNathanson. “Mike has always been very highly regarded by the investment community. I fully expect them to make the transition without missing a beat.”
The shares of T-Mobile were little changed at $78.23 on in the afternoon trading, while Sprint was 1.03%.
Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, Sheila Dang, Munsif Vengattil and Diane Bartz; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Anil D ” Silva and Dan Grebler