T-Mobile USA CEO Resigns To Join Deutsche Telekom Competitor in Europe

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

It has only been 2 years since Philipp Humm became the CEO of Deutsche Telekom’s US subsidiary T-Mobile USA, but it was announced yesterday that he was leaving the company effective immediately.  In a statement released by Deutsche Telekom, it was stated that Humm was leaving to go back to his wife and kids who had remained in Europe, but the Wall Street Journal discovered that there was more to the story behind his departure.  Philipp Humm originally “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. Humm’s exit was sped up after he informed Mr. Obermann [Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive] ‘a few days ago’ that he would be joining” an unnamed competitor.”

Philipp Humm joined T-Mobile during a difficult time in the company and had to oversee the failed AT&T merger.  Deutsche Telekom acknowledged this in their statement by saying that he “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.”  If the US government had not blocked the T-Mobile/AT&T merger, Humm would have likely stayed in the company.

Geekwire obtained a copy of the internal memo that was sent to all T-Mobile employees announcing the news and we’ve included it below:

Team,

I want you to hear the news directly from me: Philipp will be on leave with immediate effect. You might ask yourself, why I’ve taken this decision? Well, here is some background: In April, Philipp informed me that he intended to end his contract at the end of September.

During the merger process, we had agreed on such an option, just in case the merger did not materialize. Philipp told me back then that he wants to pursue a career outside of Deutsche Telekom and to reunite with his family, who have stayed in Europe. I decided back then to start the search for a successor. This search is progressing well. I have spoken to a number of promising candidates.

The reason Philipp has vacated his position with such short notice is because of his new employer: Philipp informed me a few days ago that he will be joining a competitor of Deutsche Telekom.

I have asked Jim Alling to lead the company until a final decision on a successor has been made. Jim is a respected senior leader who has my complete trust and confidence and that of the entire Deutsche Telekom Board of Management. Change of leadership has implications for both employees and the entire company, particularly when it comes to the period of transition. With this in mind, I would like to appeal to all of you to support Jim. I personally wish him the best of success.

I want to thank Philipp for his nearly two years with T-Mobile USA. His contribution to cost efficiencies and the development of the Challenger Strategy has given the company some important initiatives. With a new leader at the helm, our challenge will be to develop these initiatives into measurable success in the market.

I will be back in Seattle in mid-July to discuss next steps with the Management Team, including further business development.

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for your excellent work—particularly over the past few months. The successful upgrading of our network, building up our B2B business, re-launching the brand and the many other initiatives that we have started will bear fruit and will make us even more competitive.

Thank you and all the best,

René

René Obermann
CEO of Deutsche Telekom

 

Source: The Verge

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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