A catalyst for economic change: Roger D. Linquist, President, CEO and Chairman of MetroPCS Communications, Inc. named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 Media, Entertainment and Communications Award winner
Palm Springs, CA, 12 November 2011
Linquist honored for creating valuable growth as the industry underdog while constantly innovating
Roger D. Linquist, Chairman, President and CEO of MetroPCS Communications, Inc., was named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Media, Entertainment and Communications Award winner. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the country’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Linquist was recognized for overcoming the challenges of competing against the telecommunications industry giants using unconventional business practices. In the quarter ending March 2011, MetroPCS had exceeded analysts’ expectations for new subscribers, with nearly 9 million subscribers nationwide. Linquist was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, held in Palm Springs, California. The Forum is the nation’s premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. The Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 300 regional award recipients.
“Linquist’s ability to persevere under challenging conditions and discover innovative ways to drive business growth has made him a deserving winner of this award,” said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. “He spotted an unmet market need, capitalized on it, and spread his entrepreneurial spirit throughout the employee network to give customers personalized attention and high quality service. He’s very deserving of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, and we’re certain his pioneer mentality will continue to add growth to the business.”
An unconventional start
When Linquist started MetroPCS Communications in 1994 at its headquarters in Richardson, Texas, he was aware of the many existing challenges the company faced as new entrants up against industry stalwarts such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Linquist had envisioned offering customers services that big industry players simply could not. His initial offerings included flat-rate plans, unlimited minutes and no annual contracts. Understanding the need to constantly innovate and keep up with rapidly changing technology, Linquist set a company-wide goal to be the first to offer new services and products among wireless providers. This mentality has helped MetroPCS arrive at its profitable position today.
Overcoming the odds
To grow MetroPCS Communications into an industry leader, Linquist knew that his entrepreneurial spirit had to extend to the entire MetroPCS network, right down to the retailer-owned storefronts. Since MetroPCS plans are pay-as-you-go, many customers visited community-based retail stores to make in-person payments, allowing retail staff to engage on a personal level.
Under Linquist’s leadership, MetroPCS exceeded analysts’ expectations for new subscribers by 440,000 in the quarter ending March 31, 2011, with almost 726,000 net new subscribers for that same quarter. MetroPCS reported a 40% increase in share value this year and a 23% increase in revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2011.
By recognizing the need for a wireless provider that offers customers a simple phone plan with a personalized feel and a considerable market share, Linquist has created a company that has exceeded industry expectations.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Media, Entertainment and Communications Award finalists:
In addition to Linquist, the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Media, Entertainment and Communications Award finalists were: Dan Caruso, President and CEO of Zayo Group, LLC, of Louisville, Colorado, a provider of high-bandwidth infrastructure and carrier-neutral co-location to single and multi-site businesses; Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications Inc., of McLean, Virginia, the only mobile satellite communications company offering voice and data solutions around the globe; and Alan F. Shultz, Chairman, President and CEO of Valassis, of Livonia, Michigan, a leading provider of media and marketing services for consumer packaged goods manufacturers, retailers, food service providers and other companies.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Overall Award winners
Reid Hoffman, Chairman, and Jeff Weiner, CEO, of LinkedIn Corporation were named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Overall Award winners.
Video and photos
To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit ey.com/us/eoy.
Photos of the winners are also available by request.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program is pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a national sponsor.
About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year
Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.
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