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Wharton Impact Tour: Seattle 2023

T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert and Dean James Discuss Innovation and Leadership in Seattle

“This city stands as a testament to the power of innovation and the spirit of exploration,” Dean Erika James said onstage at the W Seattle. “Seattle’s thriving business and technology ecosystem has been fueled by an atmosphere that encourages bold ideas.”

On November 29, Dean James highlighted the starring role of Wharton alumni in capitalizing on those bold ideas, before an audience of more than 100 Wharton alumni and friends.

Mike Sievert, W’91, T-Mobile’s president and CEO, joined Dean James onstage to share how he steered T-Mobile from the fastest declining wireless provider to the fastest growing during his tenure.

The two emphasized the unique challenges and opportunities of assuming leadership roles at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the necessity of being flexible and leveraging technology to connect team members and shape their respective organizations’ cultures.

In some ways, Sievert said, the pandemic helped merge the cultures of Sprint and T-Mobile, which the latter acquired in 2020, by putting everyone on equal footing. Before taking questions from the audience, Dean James and Sievert closed by discussing how leaders can balance their personal and professional lives, sharing the strategies they use in pursuit of work-life balance.

The Dean also commended the Wharton Club of Seattle, which she pointed out has channeled the region’s entrepreneurial energy, revamping its leadership structure and developing new activities to engage alumni — as evidenced by the attendance of members of the Wharton Club of Vancouver, whom the Dean thanked for making the trip and building bonds across borders.


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