T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm has resigned, according to the company. The move came as a surprise to industry watchers. T-Mobile’s COOs Jim Alling, will take over the duties of the CEO while the nation’s fourth largest phone carrier searches for a replacement. The change up top could be seen as fallout from the failure to close the acquisition by AT&T as well as an indication of T-Mobile’s tough road ahead in the U.S. market.
As the smallest nationwide carrier T-Mobile is trying to differentiate itself by offering unlimited (but throttled) data as well as lower prices, but it’s unclear if this strategy is sustainable. T-Mobile has always been at a disadvantage to other operators due to its weak spectrum position. It has taken steps to improve that position, but they may not have been enough.
According to a company memo published by T-Mo News, Humm is leaving to pursue a career outside of T-Mobile’s German parent company Deutsche Telekom. The memo sates that Humm had planned to leave in September if the AT&T deal fell through, so Humm’s departure is earlier than anticipated, but not entirely unexpected.
With its plans to swap spectrum with Verizon to cover more areas of the country it looks like T-Mobile is going ahead with this whole running-a-wireless-carrier idea as opposed to selling out. That’s going to take a different set of skills at the top, and perhaps Humm felt it was time to go.
Here is the statement issued by T-Mobile:
Philipp Humm, resigned as CEO of T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom’s mobile business in the USA. Jim Alling, Chief Operating Officer of T-Mobile USA, will take over the duties of CEO on an interim basis while a search is underway.
Humm is going to pursue a career outside of Deutsche Telekom so as to reunite with his family, which stayed back in Europe. Humm joined Deutsche Telekom in 2005, and was initially responsible for the company’s mobile business in Germany. In 2008 he took on the responsibility of managing the sales and service activities of the European mobile companies within Deutsche Telekom Group. In May 2010 he moved to T-Mobile USA., taking over as CEO in November of that year.
René Obermann thanked Humm for his contribution over the past seven years saying: “Philipp Humm has given the company some important initiatives over the past years: Under his 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 AT&T.” In terms of a potential successor Obermann said: “Now we need somebody who can convert initiatives into market-successes.”