Philipp Humm, the man Deutsche Telekom sent to the U.S. to straighten out T-Mobile, has abruptly resigned. T-Mobile says Humm is reuniting with his family in Europe. The Journal says he's joined a rival carrier.
T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm has resigned,
Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobiles parent company, announced June 27. With Humms
abrupt-seeming departure, T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Jim Alling has been
named as a temporary replacement, while the search for a permanent replacement
Humm is going to pursue a career outside of
Deutsche Telekom so as to reunite with his family, which stayed back in
Europe, T-Mobile said in the statement.
Wall Street Journal
after reported that Humm had stepped down to take a job with an unnamed
competitor in Europe.
continued, In a letter to
T-Mobile USA staff released Wednesday [Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann] said
Mr. Humm informed the company in April that he intended to leave at the end of
September so he could return to his family in Europe. Mr. Humms exit was sped
up after he informed Mr. Obermann a few days ago that he would be joining a
competitor of Deutsche Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom would not name the
competitor, though Obermann added in his letter than hed spoken with a number
of promising candidates.
The job description, one imagines, includes a
call for patience, ambition and vision.
"T-Mobile has a lot of work to dobeing a
distant four in a three-company race," Gartner analyst Phillip Redman told
. "Last year was difficult year for them ... it is in better
shape today [but] it is struggling to define itself, behind on LTE [Long-Term
Evolution] launches and needs to improve its metrics. A big task for
A year ago, Humm testified before federal
regulatorsas part as AT&Ts bid to purchase the smaller carrierthat
T-Mobile was in rather dire straits, unable to afford a network upgrade to 4G,
which was necessary, he explained, to compete in the mobile market. Ultimately,
AT&T backed away from the deal, and as part of its arrangement with
T-Mobile, compensated it for its trouble with roughly $4 billion and a nice
amount of wireless spectrum.
On Feb. 23, Humm announced that T-Mobile was
kicking off a $4
billion network modernization
strategy that included a 4G LTE deployment
and improvements to voice and data coverage.
By May, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks
were signed on to get things moving, and in a T-Mobile blog post, CTO Neville
that a nice side benefit of its 4G network efforts would be
that the network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including
The Apple iPhone 5, which analysts predict
will arrive in October, is expected to be LTE-enabled.
Most recently, Humm has been busy hosting
, head of the FCCs Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at
T-Mobile headquarters, to discuss Verizons controversial agreements with
several cable companies. Hes also been negotiating
to purchase and swap spectrumsome of which is spectrum
Verizon will come into as part of the cable deal, and so is awaiting the
approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Its a tricky time for Humm to hand over the
reins but, with more money and spectrum on its side than a year ago, likely
also a more alluring arrangement for a replacement.
Obermann, in his statement, added that under
Humms leadership the cost situation at T-Mobile USA has vastly improved and
he led the company during a difficult phase regarding the planned merger with
As for Humms successor, Obermann added, Now
we need somebody who can convert initiatives into market successes.
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