Monday, August 13, 2012

T-Mobile to go private with the Sole True Hero!

Fierce Wireless is reporting that there is a private equity bid in the works to buy T-Mobile led by none other than my least favourite telecom executive, Mr Sol Trujillo.

As an Australian I have had some experience with Sol Trujillo - he was CEO of our local incumbent teleco - Telstra.

At first Sol looked to be a great salesman - but he systematically undermined any political and eventually customer goodwill with Telstra. He then took a me-against-the-world view as the business crumbled around him. That was a head-in-the-sand display that matches Microsoft's original dismissal of iPhones as laughable.

Sol Trujillo eventually asserted that his problems were caused by Australian racism - but they were not. They were caused by his personal intransigence and his tone deafness. The wags took to calling him the Sole True Hero simply because he could not build any coalition of support around his positions.

When he left the Prime Minister welcomed the news with a single word: adios. That was asserted as proof of Australian racism - and maybe it is indicative of such. However telecoms are ultimately a regulated business and an executive who makes a populace and a Prime Minister so angry that that is reasonable response has not succeeded as a teleco exec.

This is a warning to the capital markets. Anyone seriously contemplating backing that bid should look at Sol Trujillo's record at Telstra in Australia.

That record is subject of a previous blog post.



Benedict Evans said...

Nice to see US PE firms providing former CEOs of Orange with retirement jobs running doomed investments. Sanjiv Ahuja, Sol's sucessor at Orange, was just about the only person to make any money out of LightSquared.

Rabbieburns said...

I'm not a huge fan of Telstra. And certainly not a huge fan of Trujillo. However, he was responsible for rolling out Telstra's pretty outstanding 3G wireless network, which is absolutely smashing Telstra's competitors in wireless in Australia and delivering a pile of shareholder cash. Just wanted to throw in some balance here...

Anonymous said...

Trujillo got right up everybodys nose

I thought he only rolled out 2 1/2 G network and that was probably because all his mates got the handset supply contract without compeditive tender.[ and had old stock ]

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