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AT&T CEO: Company Did Not Execute Well on T-Mobile Deal

Daily Insight | Rich Karpinski | February 12, 2013

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Nearly two years after AT&T dropped its proposed U.S.$39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA, the carrier’s CEO Randall Stephenson admits that his company “didn’t execute well” on the decision and it “didn’t go the way [he] wanted.”

 

According to Fierce Wireless, Stephenson called the failed deal one of his worst moments as a CEO in an interview with Phil Weiser, dean of the University of Colorado Law School. However, he noted that he didn’t believe AT&T’s 2010 bid for T-Mobile was a bad decision. During the discussion, Stephenson also said he believes Dish Network will partner with a wireless company rather than building out its own LTE network. And while he pointed out the downfalls he saw as CEO, he did say one of his greatest moments was when AT&T decided to introduce the iPhone in 2007.

 

Yankee Group Senior Analyst Rich Karpinski comments

 

“AT&T’s failed T-Mobile acquisition was clearly a disappointment for Stephenson, but AT&T’s size, momentum with the iPhone, aggressiveness in launching new businesses—such as connected devices—and quick recovery on the spectrum front (40 separate deals in 2012) kept it from taking as big a hit as its merger partner, T-Mobile (which is just now starting to really right its ship). Still trailing some rivals in terms of raw spectrum at its disposal, it’s interesting that Stephenson mentions Dish and possible operator partnerships. Where and with whom Dish and Clearwire land remain the open questions left to be sorted out as the mobile broadband industry takes a brief respite before it’s next headlong rush forward.”

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