T-Mobile CEO John Legere reportedly not taking WeWork job
That helps him avoid some potential conflicts of interest.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Turning down the position would reportedly keep Legere from potential conflicts of interest. The majority owner of WeWork is Softbank Group. Softbank is also the controlling shareholder of
. T-Mobile's merger with Sprint is still in progress.
Sprint and T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Office-share startup WeWork has reportedly been struggling after a September discovery that weak Wi-Fi security left sensitive documents exposed and plans to go public were delayed. It began looking for a new CEO after Adam Neumann stepped down from the position last month. For now, WeWork is helmed by co-CEOs Artie Minson, the former chief financial officer, and Sebastian Gunningham, former vice chairman. WeWork also didn't immediately respond to request for comment.
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Sources told CNBC that Legere was never a leading candidate for the top job at WeWork. That said, Legere, whose bombastic style has garnered notoriety, has had a strong track record of operational success. Since taking on the CEO job at T-Mobile in 2012, following the failed merger with AT&T, he's turned the company into the fastest growing US wireless carrier.
But the timing of a potential new gig had raised eyebrows, as T-Mobile and Sprint continue to wait to close their $26.5 billion proposed merger. The companies have already won approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Justice.
The merger could still be derailed by a lawsuit filed by 18 attorneys general that have sued to stop it, arguing it will hurt competition and lead to increased prices. The trial is set to begin Dec. 9. This has pushed the close of the deal, which was announced in June 2018, past a critical date of Nov. 1, which could allow the companies to restructure the deal or walk away. If Legere were to leave T-Mobile for the WeWork CEO job, that could raise concerns about a conflict of interest.
SoftBank and its Vision Fund, which owns an 80% stake in WeWork, also controls Sprint. Sprint's former chairman and CEO, Marcelo Claure, who helped broker the deal with T-Mobile, has been acting as the chairman of WeWork and the de facto head of the turnaround effort since Softbank poured $10 billion into the company last month.
Legere and Claure have worked together and appeared before Congress over the past 18 months in their bid to win approval for merger.
Originally published Nov. 15, 1:25 p.m. PT. Update, 2:56 p.m. PT: Adds background information.