T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere explained his transformation from button-down executive to rhetorical flamethrower in his remarks Monday at the Code/Mobile Conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Legere acknowledged adopting a more corporate persona during the decade when he led Global Crossing out of bankruptcy through its 2011 acquisition by Level 3 for $1.9 billion in stock.
“Most corporations are a paramilitary hierarchy,” Legere said.
Legere’s short-hair days are behind him since taking over in 2012 as chief executive of a struggling T-Mobile. He said he has shed the formality, doffed his suits for T-Mobile T-shirts and Converse sneakers, and a blunt-spoken manner, as he seeks to connect with his customers.
“I talk to thousands of customers every minute of the day,” said Legere, who is an avid user of social media. “That’s who I am and that’s how I play.”
Legere said some of his over-the-top remarks are just a “shtick.”
But of course, the liberal dropping of F-bombs at corporate events cement T-Mobile’s image as the scrappy underdog and an industry disruptor. That holds a certain appeal for some subscribers.
“You’ve got to say that me and Deutsche Telekom are interesting,” Legere said, referring to the company’s German majority holder.
Legere quipped that he hopes he has as long a run as Kim Kardashian has enjoyed, as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” enters its 10th season.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.