LAS VEGAS — Ah CES, a time of innovation, gadgets, and — if you’re T-Mobile CEO John Legere — a time for getting kicked out of your competitor’s party.
Legere, an executive known for speaking his mind (often with colorful language), crashed AT&T’s Developer Summit concert tonight and spent some time hanging out with tech journalists, including CNET’s Roger Cheng. The event was held at the Palms Las Vegas and featured an appearance by Macklemore.
Shortly after arriving, though, Legere was escorted out by security.
GeekWire reporter Todd Bishop confirmed with security guards that Legere had been asked to leave. According to the guard, AT&T reps claimed Legere was “harassing” party attendees.
Let’s be clear here, this is the very definition of a publicity stunt. Legere is smart enough to know that getting kicked out was a very likely outcome. And of course, the “controversy” surrounding it is nothing but good (and cheap) publicity for T-Mobile, and a knock against big bad AT&T.
Naturally, Legere started retweeting supporters:
T-Mobile will hold a press conference at CES on Wednesday, where it plans to unveil its latest Uncarrier initiative. You can bet that tonight’s events will play a big role there.
I can’t help but wonder what AT&T’s reps were thinking when they chose to boot Legere — there’s just no good outcome for it.
Meanwhile, AT&T President Ralph de la Vega was at Audi’s CES keynote (where this reporter was stuck, instead of at a freaking concert) to announce that AT&T’s LTE service will power Audi’s new connected cars.
The inimitable finance journalist Felix Salmon wrapped up the situation best.