BusinessWeek | Hard Choices: John Legere

May 20, 2010

The Global Crossing CEO recalls his decision to endure a pounding in Congress, stick by his company, and lead it out of Chapter 11

As told to Diane Brady

In October 2001, I became CEO of Global Crossing. The company was in a lot worse shape than I thought. I brought in some consultants, and I remember being angry when one of them suggested that we were headed into bankruptcy.

He was right. In January 2002, I agreed to file. This was in the midst of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco (TYC). The brand image was horrible. I was getting threats, and my family needed armed security. I thought to myself, “Wait a second. I just got here!”

They wanted Gary Winnick at the congressional hearings. He was the chairman, but I insisted that I go instead. It was important to put a different face on the company. I went to people I trusted and asked their advice. It was clear that I had to stick around. Otherwise, I would be forever associated with all of the negativity.

Nothing prepares you for walking into the Congress and sitting in that chair. They’re talking to you from up above. You don’t know what anonymous e-mails they’re going to read, but your lawyers have handed you the most embarrassing ones you’ve written, just in case they come up…

{Read more via BusinessWeek}

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