T-Mobile marketer Nick Drake departs innovation role just months into top secret project

Nick Drake

Nick Drake, T-Mobile’s former marketing-boss-turned-leader of a top-secret project, has left the business for a senior marketing role at Google.

Drake joined T-Mobile in 2015 as its senior vice-president for digital following several years in top marketing jobs at Quiksilver and Adidas as well as a short stint agency-side as managing director of TBWA\Chiat\LA.

He was quickly promoted to lead T-Mobile’s marketing in 2017 where he took control of the digital and e-commerce experience as well as its agency relationships and sponsorships.

His last major marketing campaign was for T-Mobile’s sixth Super Bowl appearance which promoted its sizeable rewards program.

However, shortly after it aired, Drake was asked to lead an “important confidential new initiative” which saw him step down from his marketing responsibilities, making way for a new chief marketing officer in T-Mobile veteran Matt Staneff.

The shake-up was revealed in a memo sent to staff in April. Little was said of Drake’s new position, with chief executive John Legere and chief operating officer Mike Sievert only revealing that he would be “moving into a newly created role to focus on a brand-new venture for us” and that he would be “building a team from the ground up that will jumpstart an important confidential new initiative for the company.”

Drake has remained similarly secretive, with his company bio stating that he is "chief innovator at a new confidential initiative."

A T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed Drake's departure but said that the initiative would continue, though declined to comment on his replacement.

John Freier, executive vice-president at T-Mobile, paid tribute to Drake on Twitter.

It comes as T-Mobile continues to face hurdles with the proposed $26.5bn merger with Sprint, which was first announced in April 2018 but is still awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Attorney Generals in 16 states have also filed a lawsuit with the FCC to block the merger, questioning its validity on the grounds of competition and the benefit to consumers. The court trial is scheduled to begin on 9 December.

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