In a nutshell: T-Mobile has announced plans to cut nearly 5,000 jobs, or roughly seven percent of its workforce, in the coming weeks. In an e-mail to employees dated August 24 that was also shared in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said corporate and back-office positions will be hit the hardest. Some technology roles will also be impacted, Sievert added, but noted that retail and consumer care reps will not be affected.

The executive said the cuts will help curb excessive spending, and come at a time when the wireless company is at a pivotal crossroads. "What it takes to attract and retain customers is materially more expensive than it was just a few quarters ago," Sievert said, adding that they have been out-running the trend by accelerating merger synergies, building their high-speed Internet business faster than expected, and performing above average in a few other areas.

Even with all of that, it will not be enough to meet customer expectations moving forward, Sievert said. The best time to challenge the status quo is while they are still successful, and that time is right now, Sievert added.

The savings will allow the nation's third largest wireless carrier to narrow its focus, reduce operating complexity, and have the financial ability to continue to differentiate its network and customer experience.

T-Mobile helped reshape the wireless industry through its Un-carrier strategy over the past decade. Led by former CEO John Legere, the initiative was so transformative that in many instances, the competition had no choice but to follow suit and roll out similar programs.

Legere was also instrumental in helping to engineer and get the Sprint merger approved. In fact, that would be his last hurrah as Legere stepped down as chief executive once the merger was completed and passed the baton over to Sievert.

Looking ahead, Sievert said he does not expect any additional widespread company reductions in the foreseeable future. As for Legere, he is still active on X (formerly Twitter) but has not started his next act as far as I can tell.

Image credit: Mika Baumeister