T-Mobile Named Most Ethical U.S. Carrier, CEO Thanks 'Rockstars'

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T-Mobile makes an appearance on the latest iteration of the annual list of the 128 most ethical companies in the world named by ethical standard organization Ethisphere.

The self-proclaimed Un-Carrier is unsurprisingly quick to point out it managed to achieve this high ranking position for the eleventh year in a row, about as long as Ethisphere has been ranking corporate behemoths and ethics (or lack thereof) behind their decisions.

Eccentric T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere reflected on the opportunity as a major milestone for T-Mobile and yet another piece of evidence suggesting its way of doing business is working from a variety of aspects, pointing to the telecom giant's "rockstar" employees as the main driving force behind the trend.

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Besides topping wireless in the ethics department domestically, T-Mobile was recognized in this regard globally alongside Nokia, Brazilian Vivo, and its German parent Deutsche Telekom.

Banking on (in)difference

Even as being "different" is ironically a generic strategy (on a conceptual level) many companies failed to follow in modern times, T-Mobile's take on the idea is to concentrate on what are largely perceived as the worst experiences associated with its rivals, then doubling down on making them as pleasant as possible.

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That train of thought led it to force a return o the unlimited rate in the United States several years back. More recently, it saw T-Mobile invest millions in an increasingly controversial component of modern telecom operations – human tech support. Whereas most other network operators are aggressively driving toward maximum automation, T-Mobile suddenly decided to stop, reverse, and proclaim some previously passed mark to be the finishing line, so to speak.

Whether its rivals take the bait remains to be seen but their indifference to some growing industry issues are a large part of what allowed T-Mobile to grow so much in recent years. In other words, when Legere starts yelling about defeating the "soul-crushing" robot armies of the likes of Verizon and AT&T, while his marketing team is simultaneously calling for consumers to break up with their carriers for Valentine's Day, such eccentricities are bound to resonate, even if their effectiveness varies.

Who can even claim to an authority on ethics?

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The Scottsdale, Arizona-based organization behind the standard T-Mobile is more than happy to use for advertising purposes these days has been operating since 2007, having been established as a unit of compliance training firm Corpedia. Three years later, founder Alex Brigham managed to retain the ownership of the entity after Brigham bought Corpedia by European stock exchange operator Euronext for an undisclosed fee.

Mr. Brigham, then serving as the Executive Chairman of Ethisphere, remained at the unit after striking a deal with the well-funded buyer from the Old Continent. Around that time, Corpedia started referring to itself as an "institute."

Some critics previously described the moniker as misleading because Ethisphere has always been envisioned as a for-profit organization and such an entity handing out ethics awards could feasibly be a recipe for a large-scale conflict of interest. The American standards organization always fiercely defended the legitimacy of its awards, going as far as to disclose the overall workings of its system used for calculating the most ethical companies in the world on a yearly basis.

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Not only does the firm's index span some 160 questions covering every aspect of contemporary corporate entities but it also doesn't score candidates in a vacuum. Instead, its ratings are extrapolated from answers to standardized questions relative to those from their peers, meaning the continuation of T-Mobile's high ranking can primarily be seen as evidence of the firm maintaining a sizable gap in front of its domestic wireless rivals, without disclosing the specifics of whether that means the carrier improved faster than its competitors or simply dropped fewer balls over the course of the entire year.