T-Mobile CEO To Leave Company

Robert Dotson, President and CEO of T-Mobile USA has announced his intent to step down from the company. After 15 years of service with T-Mobile USA, Dotson intends to purse new opportunities. Succeeding Dotson in the CEO position in May 2011 will be Philipp Humm, former CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland. “After a period of transition with Dotson, it’s the intention that Humm will take over as CEO of T-Mobile USA in February 2011, while Dotson will remain on as a T-Mobile USA non-executive board member until May 2011.”
We wish Mr. Dotson the very best and we thank him for all that he has done to make Magenta our most beloved carrier. Good luck sir.

T-Mobile USA CEO Robert Dotson to Leave Company in May 2011;

Philipp Humm Named as CEO Designate

DT CEO René Obermann: Respect for Dotson Decision;
DT Confirms Commitment to U.S. Business

BELLEVUE, Wash. — May 25, 2010 — Robert Dotson, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile USA, Inc., has informed Deutsche Telekom (DT) of his intent to transition to new opportunities in 2011 after 15 years of service with T-Mobile USA. In order to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, Dotson has committed to stay actively engaged in the business until
May 2011. His designated successor is Philipp Humm, an experienced DT executive and former CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland. Humm is currently responsible for sales and service in Europe as chief regional officer (CRO) Europe. After a period of transition with Dotson, it’s the intention that Humm will take over as CEO of T-Mobile USA in February 2011, while Dotson will remain on as a T-Mobile USA non-executive board member until May 2011.

“For 15 years it has been a privilege to lead the talented T-Mobile USA team in its journey to become a leading U.S. wireless provider. The time is right to ensure a thoughtful leadership transition to position T-Mobile USA for the next 15 years of opportunity,” Dotson said. “It has long been my intent to step away from the business at this stage in my life in order to devote more time to family and to take on entirely new and unique challenges. That change can only be made possible if a suitable successor is in place. Over the next year, it will be my relentless focus and responsibility to work closely with Philipp to ensure marketplace success, and to enable a seamless leadership transition.”

René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, said, “I sincerely regret Robert’s decision to leave, however I absolutely respect his decision, and am most grateful that he has offered to stay on for another year in order to work with Philipp to ensure continuity in running the business. Robert’s pioneering leadership in establishing T-Mobile USA as one of the leading players in the U.S. mobile market has not only been recognized by us at Deutsche Telekom, but by the industry as a whole. An agile mind, business acumen, strong leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and team work – these are some of the many excellent qualities that have made Robert such an invaluable leader within the DT Group.”

Coming to T-Mobile USA as president and CEO designate, effective July 1, 2010, Humm brings significant experience in the U.S. marketplace. Before joining Deutsche Telekom, Humm worked for ten years for a number of U.S.-based companies including McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, and Amazon in senior level positions. Humm has since served as CEO of
T-Mobile Deutschland from 2005 until 2008. He took over a company in a declining market and successfully turned it around during his tenure to become Germany’s leading mobile operator in both subscribers as well as service revenues. He was also responsible for the successful market introduction of the iPhone® in Germany in 2007.

Humm, 50, has strong international experience, and in his present position as CRO Europe, he is responsible for international sales and customer service, as well as steering the five national mobile companies in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the UK and Poland. In this role he has played a pivotal part in the recent, successful establishment of the joint venture in the United Kingdom between T-Mobile UK and Orange UK of France Telekom.

“With Philipp, we have an excellent leader with an outstanding track record in the mobile industry,” Obermann added. “During his five years at Deutsche Telekom, Philipp has proven bold leadership and intense determination to succeed. His strong vision within the industry as well as his courage to transform, combined with his entrepreneurial qualities, ensures that he has all the credentials to lead T-Mobile USA as a strong competitor in a very dynamic market. I am more than confident that both Robert and Philipp will work closely together to create a smooth transition of leadership, as well as moving the business forward.”

Humm said, “It is a privilege for me to take over the reins from an established leader such as Robert. I look forward to working with him and the T-Mobile USA team during the transition phase, and I relish the prospect of leading such a proud company as T-Mobile USA – a force to be reckoned with in one of the largest markets in the world. It is a great challenge, and I am grateful for having been given the chance to make a difference.”

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  • dsim91

    Good now maybe tmobile’s phone line up will stop sucking

    • Wilma Flintstone

      same thing I was thinking.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        hey look, my avatar changed and now I’m a wacky Star. cool. anybody else notice there avatar changed again?

      • mad dog

        All I see is a deranged looking smiley face.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Hey, it switched back. Ok, now this is weird. I have the Wacky Star on the HD2 browser but the Deranged Smiley on the PC browser. What in the world?

    • DannOfThurs

      agreed on train of thought…+1

    • Mega G

      “maybe tmobile’s phone line up will stop sucking”


      When I saw Rene Obermann and Dotson at a company meeting about 2.5 years ago one of the questions that was asked was “Why didn’t TMo USA get the iPhone??”

      You should have seen the look Oberman shot at Dotson. It was clear that Rene thought Dotson screwed up on that one. And that he should have overridden Dotson’s and Brodman’s decision on that.

      I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that T-Mo Germany cares about T-Mo USA. Not just from a profit point of view but T-Mo Germany is a re But I’m sure Dotson assured them he would come up with a better ‘answer’ than the iPhone and didn’t deliver.

      Time for the old guard to move on.

  • I agree…I think the CEO from Deutschland will come and stir things up big time for T-Mobile…make us more like our European counter part, which would definitely cause us to gain on other carriers…

    • Matt Hatter

      I do like the way that DT does things over there. They really do have a phenomenal lineup of phones and coverage (sans roaming) all over Europe. Just fantasizing here, but a great selling point may very well be a world phone service; DT could do that. Did you know that you can’t take a CDMA device to Europe and use it? Check the Verizon and Sprint sites, no European roaming. That’s why they are coming out with “world” phones. Phones that are both CDMA & GSM

      • Yeah if they had a world phone service that would really make things amazing. Also, if they made things like Europe (no contract, you just put in money into your phone, that way you can’t really go over) I think that would be pretty sweet also.

      • hi!

        oh believe me, I KNOW this, haha. This is the only reason I’m with T-Mobile. While I like the company, the only real reason I’m with them is because they’re really my only choice. I spent time in 11 countries last year and I NEED something that works everywhere. I tried to leave for the Palm Pre when that dropped on Sprint eons ago but it didn’t work overseas so it was a no go :(

    • J-Hop2o6

      YES!!! FINALLY he stepped down (or got fired ^.^) cuhz he was holdin Tmobile back (and/or taking too many baby steps) which has soo much penitential.. Hopefully DT will appoint someone that can LEAD Tmousa to the TOP! or atleast past Sprint (eg. have atlest 50M+ cust. base).

      Now this is what DT should do:
      1.) Hire someone that can RISE to Tmousa to atleast 50M+ customer base, by:
      2.) Requesting more funding from DT to:
      3.) Expand (and optimize?) coverage (voice & 3G data),
      4.) More High End Smartphones.. ATLEAST 1-2 per Quarter (which equals more data revenue),
      5.) more attractive post-paid plans(?) & better upgrade pricing for existing customer (to stop the bleeding).
      6.) more additional things like bringing back Hotspot@Home, more UMA in many different phones, Femtocell, etc.

      • J-Hop2o6

        am i missing anything? what do u guys think?

      • J-Hop2o6

        oops.. i left out a few things.. but the next T-Mobile USA CEO sounds like he can really shake things up for Tmousa.. also, they need to do some serious marketing that points out strong points (eg. HSPA+ speeds faster than Sprints “4G” speeds and the rest of the Big 4’s speeds w/o price bumping & nice pricing), and shows off the phones.

      • manus

        doesnt sprint have a program where the longer you are with them the more incentives and better upgrade deals you recieve. because i have been with tmo since the voicestream and only thing i have been offered was a loyalty plan but im on a family plan so nothing for me.

      • myn uts

        agreed!!! peace out pussy we need someone who is going to take the reigns and actual do something.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Great post and analysis. I’ll respond.

        He was fired.

        1. DT feels Humm is that someone.

        2. Unlikely, TMOUS makes enough money to fund its own ventures, marketing and development.

        3. Spectrum is a problem. Most likely T-Mobile will have to buy, lease or go into a partnership to get spectrum, which it currently does not have (Clearwire, for example).

        4. Yes. Humm will do this. He brought many of the high end handsets to the European market for T-Mobile. He has to stop ALL the smartphone exclusivity deals going to Verizon and AT&T.

        5. I don’t think plans is the issue. T-Mobile needs to get away from perception that it is the bargain carrier, but you suffer in coverage in return for paying less. Obviously plan pricing matters, but not so much that AT&T and Verizon have suffered (185 million subscribers between them, compared to T-Mobile’s 33.7 million).

        T-Mobile has to shed perceptions that it is the K-Mart of cell phone service. That may mean ditching total emphasis on consumers and families and start getting into enterprise.

        And as T-Mobile is doing, it needs to gain a foothold on the fast-becoming-popular prepaid services.

        6. Those services are consumer oriented features and a loser IMHO.

  • Matt_TX

    Good riddance, now let’s get some great phones and awesome advertising to go along with them! ENOUGH of the kiddie messaging phones T-Mobile has enough of them to last a lifetime.

  • jp0131

    i agree with Matt we need better phones!

  • i agree, we need power phones

  • Jon

    Dotson was a great leader, with a strong focus on satisfying the customer, and a wise man in regards to business. While 3G was a little late to the game, the network was built up while the spectrum was being cleared. As a result T-Mobile has the fastest 3G network available with HSPA+ at 21 mbps! Which is already live in several markets. his sucessor has large shoes to fill

    • rushmore

      Who are you kidding? He was a tool. Instead of investing in infrastructure and creating a better device portfolio, he pushed the “customer service” is great mantra, since it was cheaper than investing in more infrastructure and devices from manufacturers. The tool then blew money on celeb commercials, rather than using the money for securing better devices. On top of that, he blessed the infamous, fall on it’s face, marketing campaign “The phones you crave”.

      The man has guided Tmo to business contraction and not growth and you say he was a good leader?? Perhaps he would make a great leader of lemmings ;)

      • rushmore

        OK, “tool” is harsh, but the irony of calling the man a good leader from a company perspective struck me bad. I am sorry.

      • rushmore

        Then again, are the REAL tools in Europe if they tied his hands and would not give him the needed money to invest infrastucture??

        Ah, he still blessed the “Phones you crave” campaign. Boo!

  • Bubbles

    This is great news, tmobile overseas gets great devices. I hope they adopt overseas policies.

  • Hmm

    Phones should be better. I mean, heck, T-Mobile Europe has the iPhone.

  • mndave

    7/8 readers who replied to this thread do far want better phones.

  • pimpstrong

    looks like its agree’d all across the board that we all want high end phones and maybe this move will make that happen (Galaxy S, HTC Vision, Sidekick Twist, Nexus One in stores) Are we asking for too much??

  • Ryan

    If he needs to get out quicker, i can get his hat, coat, and pull the car around for him. good riddence.

  • john

    While the phone selection is a request that is a common one, the post was not about an upcoming phone. It’s like I’m reading comments posted by Rainman…while we’re at it, I like cheese. Seriously, if you read a post, and it has the comment you were thinking about posting, why post it. This is almost as bad as the winmo vs androit catfight. Dotson had a lot of good qualities, so I do hope that Mr. Humm is a good leader as well.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Excellent post John. “It’s like I’m reading comments posted by Rainman…” Thanks for the LOL at first light here in San Francisco.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Hey, that’s exactly what I was thinking. It’s like reading comments from Rainman. I like Cheese too. Wow!!!

  • 30014

    Hopefully tmo will start taking a few risks with a change of leadership. Customer service is no longer the selling point that it once was. If it was tmo would be faring a hell of a lot better against at&t and verizon.

    • Matt Hatter

      Android wasn’t risky enough? Garminfon not risky? Sidekick? Even More / Even More Plus? Not risky enough?

      • mous tache

        Android was a good bet, but I think we screwed up on the marketing of it. Customer doesn’t even realize that T-Mobile launched the first Android handset. They think of Verizon’s droid.

        Garminfon is a stupid bet.. it’s a horrible phone. Even More / EMP only solidifies T-Mobile’s image as a low-cost provider, they need to have other tricks besides cutting prices.

        Welcome Mr. Humm!

  • Randy

    along with this change, there are a number of other changes coming. on the RPS side, there will be less help and more fend for urself. this may be a welcome change with the CEO stepping down, but not nesseccarially good for all of us. as a sales rep, i see tough times ahead for t-mobile. future is not looking pretty bleek. unless they start listening to their people on the front lines, their world is going to come quickly crashing down. they need to do what sprint did, 69.99 unlimited

    • john

      That plan isn’t unlimited, 450 landline minutes, hell I’m on the unlimited loyalty with $35 for text and web, real unlimited for $85

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Hold up, WHAT?!?! I’m on the exact Same thing but mine is $98 with taxes. Unlimited Loyalty plus Unlimited Text and Web. How did you get it for $85? I think I’m going to be calling Tmobile’s Customer Service today.

      • john

        My numbers were pre tax

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Oh ok.

      • mad dog

        Unlimited mobile to mobile dumb ass. 450 minutes should be plenty for landline calling.

      • john

        Well since I happen to be in the army dumb ass, I use about a thousand a month in calls to government offices, cq desks, outprocessing soldiers, etc. Before sounding like a douche, consider that there are other walks of life, it’s always some pussy behind a monitor who resorts to name calling, when just like this case it’s a combat veteran on the other side they want to bash. Grow a life, and some real balls, not the e-nuts that you show off.

    • Matt Hatter

      You’re a sales rep and you don’t know how to overcome that objection? Go to their website and do a little research. It’s not an unlimited plan. And the nickle and dime stuff that T-Mo gives for free is where they tack on the extra revenue. i.e. look in the T&C regarding the Regulatory Programs Fees and look at the add on features. Enhanced VM anybody? Way to represent.

  • Matt Hatter

    As an employee, I personally feel this loss. T-Mobile has long been a leader when it comes to Value. What is value? Time and Money. We are the value leader when it comes to rate plans and feature costs. Where else can you get an unlimited – truly unlimited not unlimited cell calls, Sprint – for less than 80.00/month with a smart phone on a nationwide carrier? This company cares about the customer and it’s employees. Honestly, do you think that Dotson really has any serious decision making ability when it comes to negotiating with the manufacturers of the devices? Yeah, he does but there obviously is not much knowledge here when it comes to how things work in a free market enterprise. You know what? We can outbid our competitors as well when it comes to getting the newest super phone and having advertising bombard you everywhere you turn, but if we did there wouldn’t be the HSPA+, there wouldn’t be the awesome RPs we have, there wouldn’t be the Value that T-Mobile provides. I have no doubt that DT will continue to support T-Mo USA the way that it has been for the past 15 years, and yes you will probably see some new high end devices. But keep in mind also where our focus is on. It’s not about a revolving door of customers like Verizon and AT&T, it’s about keeping those we have as well as getting more customers. Our focus is on the family, which is why we sell so many of the “kiddie messaging phones”. I mean for crying out loud, both AT&T & Verizon require you to have an internet plan on your phone if it is a 3G phone. What a waste that is.

    OK, stepping off my soapbox now.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Hey Matt, your kind of intelligent, common sense, and spot on post is not allowed here. Only posts that say “good riddance, maybe now we can get some nice handsets” are allowed.

      Seriously, I appreciated your insights.

      • Matt Hatter

        *grin* Thank you

    • Matt_TX

      You make a very good point and in a regular business environment all of the strides T-Mobile have made would be enough. Very simply, the wireless market changed dramatically with the introduction of the Iphone. The key point that stood out to me in your very well put post was “Keeping those we have as well as getting more customers”. The stone cold truth is that Verizon and AT&T are adding customers based upon their super phone handset offerings. I love that T-Mobile is truly the best value in wireless, but I fear T-Mobile will continue to bleed customers until a truly eye opening phone comes out. I also understand T-Mobile is focusing on family’s…But I see a whole lot of family’s with Iphone’s and the only way T-Mobile will be able to distinguish itself is Better Value (Done and Done) and a serious flagship smartphone to get people in the door.

    • rushmore

      The key problem is lack of investment in infrastucture and relying far too much on “customer service is great”. 3G and data coverage is killing Tmo and hand in hand with that is a weak offering of devices. Now Tmo is blowing money worrying about higher speeds when they are VERY behind on basic 3G coverage. For gosh sake, most Tmo devices are mid to low level devices- what demographic segment needs higher speeds than 3G, when your base 3G coverage is weak and most devices are lower end?

      Better 3G coverage and then better devices should be your priorities. The “customer service is great” and low end segment- customer focus is killing your business model. Tmo is in contraction and losing people like me who pay for higher rate plans and were with you eight years.

      • mous tache

        Very true.. You hit the nail right on the head.

    • J-Hop2o6

      i understand what your sayin Matt.. BUT! we are losing Net customers… its time for a change to attract the customers by getting more smartphones, more coverage, more attractive pricing(?), more other little things like Femtocell, etc that has a low cost.. then market the HELL OUT OF IT!

    • Chris

      Tmobile doesnt totally care about their employees. In fact, google “terminated tmobile employees” and youll see why. Im currently a sales rep and have watched tmobile wrongfully terminate 3 employees for extremely stupid and unfair reasons. Three employees that loved the company and cared about the company a lot more than i did. I could care less about my job and I know thats a horrible thing to say because theres people that need a job but Tmo is getting way too corporate and i believe its hurting rather than helping.

      • that weird guy

        Couldn’t agree with you more. I worked for them until recently, 2.5 years at corporate store, 6 months as care rep. I moved to call center when t-mo sold all its stores in my state to a private company/indirect. Went from outstanding benefits, decent pay (paid awesome when I started, t-mo regularly cut commissions every 6 mos since) to them attempting to force people during height of the recession to change employers to them (terrible benefits/low pay structure, bad reputation). Was told, “wanna stay employed? Take their job offer.”

  • Special K

    @ Matt Hatter

    Definitely need to keep in mind that we are not promoting what we stand for properly whether it be in Print, via Commercial, etc. We have many great values; but customers do not get the opportunity to see it. The company as you know has not performed well in almost 18 months, so his leaving will hopefully give a fresh perspective on things. You mentioned not wanting ATT/Verizon revolving door of customers, and I agree with that. Keep in mind, we are not doing anything to try and attract the GREAT Verizon/ATT Customers at the end of their contract either.

    I am hopeful there will be more GOOD than just “Getting Better Phones.”

    • Matt Hatter

      True, Special K. We really don’t push what we stand for as a company to the general populace. We on the Frontline though should be all about it. I too look with a positive perspective to what Humm could bring to Magenta; he does have quite the resume. It’s the same when Sue Nokes left. My irritation comes from blaming Dotson for the lack of “great phones”. Thanks.

  • werker_b

    This article makes me want to stand on my pod and start reciting the words from that movie Dead Poet’s Society- ,Oh Captain, my Captain…” seriously. Robert Dotson has been a great leader. He mediated the relationship between the Euro and American sides from the beginning helping both through rocky times. In the end, the Euro side adopted the vision HIS team created in values that seek the best win-win situation for customers, employees, and owners. No one would agree with EVERYTHING a company decides upon, but I have thoroughly enjoyed working for him and TMO USA for the past 5 years. Yeah, yeah everyone wants a superphone- who wouldn’t want access to the best? But, what’s the trade-off? Being Apple slaves doesn’t sound like fun? I mean how flipping boring it must be working for ATT and selling an iphone, then an iphone, then an iphone, then an iphone- what a nightmare. I’ll take the best place to perform, grow and do business with any day at Bobby D’s place. So what if they’re lineup still has weak phones? You don’t HAVE to buy them. The Android revolution wasn’t televised or advertised, but it started at Bobby D.’s place. Nexus One wasn’t sold in stores but was only supported at full capacity by Bobby D.’s place. HSPA+ started at Bobby D.’s place. Those seem like significant milestones in wireless tech- and all for a reasonable price? Peace superphone groupies…

    • Matt Hatter

      *Applause* And to add, once again the other companies are claiming what T-Mo pioneered. Droid does may a$$. Another great decision on Bobby D’s part was to separate us as much from Microsoft as possible. I’m grateful for the fact that we’re not selling the Kin and that the SK line is looks to be going to Android. Those were good decisions. Props, amigo.

  • randy

    what i refer to with sprint, and yes i know it is not real unlimited, but a great concept of its own, thus y it works. but yeah t-mobile is a value leader with the family in mind, but on the front lines, it is difficult at times when our coverage, which has grown substantially the last 2 yrs, is still behind the curve. people do want choices and great customer service which we do supply. but they want great coverage too. in my area i can go down the road and lose service and then 10 minutes later get it back, the same area that is supposed to have coverage. its time to improve not only our data speeds, but boost overall coverage to cover all of america. t-mobile is a great company to work for, but the front lines can not do it all, we need backup. come on tmo, help us out instead of making it harder.

    • Matt Hatter

      It’s all about Spectrum, which by the way is owned by the Government and hard to come by. Believe you me, we just got our 3G here a few months ago – and we are a T-Mo dominated area given the call center here. The Gvt was taking it’s time releasing the Spectrum. Chat w/ your engineers in the area, file a service request.

      • rushmore

        My family knows one of the area tower techs for this area. Yes, spectum is controlled by the government, but there is a two way process of geeting the access and is intitiated by the carrier. Tmo’s constraint is lack of capital investment in towers and infrastructer. Not the government.

        In fairness, this is not as much the CEO’s fault as it is his bosses in Europe.

  • ThreeFourSeven

    I’m really hoping this bring some big time changes.

  • Chris

    As another employee, I feel grateful that this individual will finally get out of the way. He is the reason why it took so many years for us to adopt 3g and are now paying the price every month in losing subscribers because the network is not perceived as being up to snuff. We have a great product and people like him who do not see the vision of what this company brings to the table need to get out of the way for others who will make us the great company we should be. I just hope that this Humm person is the one to lead us at this time of economic difficulty and many years of executive bafoonery.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    I like to read business publications to tell me what’s really going on. For example:


    “Wednesday announced a change at the helm of [T-Mobile’s] troubled U.S. operations, as the company’s one-time growth engine seeks to alleviate the pressures of increasing competition and falling customer numbers.

    T-Mobile USA Chief Executive Officer Robert Dotson said he will step down in May 2011 to pursue other interests. Dotson, who was in charge of T-Mobile USA for 15 years, will be replaced by Philipp Humm, chief of T-Mobile’s operations in Germany until late 2008 and most recently its Chief Regional Officer.

    T-Mobile USA now lags behind peers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel in the competitive U.S. market.

    It likely had the worst first quarter out of all the wireless players in terms of subscriber-base development. It lost 118,000 contract customers, consistent with recent trends, but the number of net new prepaid customers fell 92% from the fourth-quarter, a startling drop that shows the strength of some of the other prepaid players. Sprint Nextel, which continues to lose its more valuable customers, showed strength in its prepaid business.

    Analysts welcomed the change in T-Mobile USA’s leadership.

    JPMorgan said T-Mobile USA needs someone fresh, referring to the necessity of further cost cutting, as Dotson has held the post for a long time. It said that Humm has a “highly relevant background.”

    Societe Generale said Humm will be a “strong replacement”, as he has a “proven track record in cost cutting and improving margins–exactly what T-Mobile USA needs.”

    “It has long been my intent to step away from the business at this stage in my life in order to devote more time to family and to take on entirely new and unique challenges,” Dotson said in a written statement. He couldn’t be reached for further comment immediately.

    Humm served as managing director of T-Mobile in Germany but stepped down in November 2008, taking responsibility for a massive breach of customer data. Around 17 million T-Mobile customers’ data was stolen in 2006. However, Deutsche Telekom said at the time that there was no personal misconduct by Humm.

    Humm serves most recently as Chief Regional Officer Europe for Germany’s incumbent telecom provider.

    Humm will become president and CEO-designate of T-Mobile USA, effective July 1 and will take over the CEO post in February 2011. Dotson will remain on as a T-Mobile USA non-executive board member until May 2011.

    Deutsche Telekom said Wednesday it remains committed to its U.S. business, which was subject to several market rumors in recent months, including the suggestion that Deutsche Telekom could sell or float the company.”

    May 26 (Bloomberg)[Note fourth paragraph!]

    Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe’s biggest phone company, named Philipp Humm as the new chief executive officer of T-Mobile USA Inc. to replace Robert Dotson.

    Humm is currently responsible for sales and service in Europe as chief regional officer for the region, the Bonn-based company said in a statement today. Humm will take over in February, while Dotson will remain on as a T-Mobile USA non- executive board member until May 2011.

    T-Mobile USA is the fourth-largest mobile U.S. operator behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., and Sprint Nextel Corp.

    It fell behind its rivals as it was late in starting the build-out of a high-speed third-generation network that could handle increased data traffic, and because of a lack of attractive handsets. Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann said this month he will keep T-Mobile USA as the division is a “cash cow.”

    “Dotson was the right man to grow T-Mobile USA and having got the company to its inflection point will now pass over to Philipp Humm who is a very strong replacement,” Saeed Baradar, Societe Generale SA’s telecommunications sales specialist, said today. Humm has a “track record in cost cutting and improving margins — exactly what T-Mobile USA needs,” he said. Societe Generale reiterated its “buy” rating on the stock.

    Humm, 50, worked for 10 years for a number of U.S.-based companies including McKinsey & Co and Procter & Gamble Co., in senior positions before joining Deutsche Telekom, the company said. Humm was CEO of T-Mobile’s German unit from 2005 to 2008.

    Losing Clients

    Analysts including Execution Noble’s Will Draper have said that Deutsche Telekom’s U.S. business needs to be fixed as average revenue per user is declining and the unit is losing customers.

    In the first quarter, T-Mobile USA’s operating income before depreciation and amortization rose 0.8 percent to $1.39 billion while sales fell 2.2 percent to $5.28 billion, the company said May 12.

    The company is increasing the speed of its third- generation network in the U.S. to get more than half the customers of its T-Mobile USA unit to use smartphones.

    In the first quarter, the number of U.S. customers using such phones increased by 33 percent to 5.2 million, compared with the previous three months. By year end, the unit is aiming for 8 million smartphone users. In total, T-Mobile USA had 33.7 million customers at the end of the first quarter, down from 33.8 million at the end of the fourth quarter.

    Forbes: [Note paragraphs 6 and 7]:

    T-Mobile USA, the wireless carrier that’s struggling against larger rivals, on Wednesday said CEO Robert Dotson will resign next year.

    Dotson is leaving for personal reasons, the company said. He will be replaced in February 2011 by Philipp Humm, an executive from T-Mobile USA’s parent company, German phone company Deutsche Telekom AG.

    Dotson said that after 15 years with the company, he plans to step down to devote more time to his family and “take on entirely new and unique challenges.”

    Humm, 50, was the managing director of Deutsche Telekom’s German wireless arm from 2005 and 2008, and “turned it around during his tenure to become Germany’s leading mobile operator in both subscribers as well as service revenues.”

    He resigned from T-Mobile Deutschland to take responsibility for the loss of 17 million subscriber records to theft in 2006, and the company’s subsequent handling of the breach. The company said in 2008 that there was no sign the data had been misused.

    T-Mobile USA, which is based in Bellevue, Wash., has been losing high-paying, contract-signing customers since last summer, and its quarterly revenues peaked in 2008. As the No. 4 carrier, it is finding it tough to compete against the much larger Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. Industrywide growth in contract-signing customers has stalled this year, and carriers now gain subscribers mainly by winning them over from other carriers.

    T-Mobile USA has compensated for declining numbers of new contract-signing customers by selling prepaid service without contracts, but the competition has intensified in that market as well, both from new entrants like MetroPCS Communications Inc. and from No. 3 carrier Sprint Nextel Corp.

    Before joining Deutsche Telekom, Humm worked for 10 years for a number of U.S.-based companies including McKinsey & Co., Procter & Gamble Co., and Amazon.com Inc.

  • ram416

    I applaud Dotson for moving the company to were it is, and we were very big on Values you saw that in the quality if the employees and the time they took in them. The company needs someone that can move them beyond the Disneyland mentality. Training us to get more aggressive in our approach to picking up customer with Product and services that people cant live with out. We need to get back to the basics and create the Moral and passion that the employees had before that has been lost. Lets start hiring people that can think outside the box and care about the work they do. We need to re light the fire and I think that Humm is a good choice to get that done

  • Captain Picard

    I think that this excerpt pretty much sums it up:
    “It (TMO) fell behind its rivals as it was late in starting the build-out of a high-speed third-generation network that could handle increased data traffic, and because of a lack of attractive handsets.”
    I remember reading on several occasions statements from TMO that it first believed that EDGE data speeds were sufficient for its customers: I mean they only got the first 3G Blackberry half a year ago or so if I remember correctly for example. Blackberry 8900 which they still sell is EDGE only at this point – how can you justify that?
    Then there was that recent statement from a month or two ago that pretty much said that T-Mobile thinks that its customers do not need phones with high end technical specifications because frankly they just don’t know about what they mean. I think that this is a very wrong way of thinking and is just plain wrong given what the cellular market looks like today.
    In fact, the shiny new high end phones and promises of fast data access do attract customers and T-Mobile leadership (together with a lot of Tmonews readers / TMO fansboys it seems) still is refusing to acknowledge this new market reality. How many customers does TMO need to loose before that reality finally sinks in?
    I say good riddance to Dotson and I’m hoping that the new guy is more in tune with the current cellular market realities.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Well said.

      Personally, and as noted by all the wires, 15 years is way too long to be running a tech company (or any company for that matter, unless the CEO is THE company who without him or her the company would collapse).

      Clearly some very bad decisions have been made in regards to TMOUS. I don’t know how much of that is Dotson’s doing or if Germany kept him on a tight leash. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Did DT veto any of Dotson’s more innovative ideas and/or put him on an “allowance” as it raided TMOUS piggy bank? I dunno.

      Some problems with TMOUS:

      Who is T-Mobile: T-Mobile lacks brand identity, such as it had when Zeta-Jones was its spokesperson.

      Phones: T-Mobile lacks handsets that make the nightly news. (To me that’s the measure of innovation. Does a new handset get talked about, for free, on the nightly news?)

      The main reasons you ALWAYS have at least one flagship, innovative handset coming out every six months or so are to: 1) Keep T-Mobile on the 6:00 o’clock news; 2) Keep T-Mobile relevant in the industry; and 3)Not appear a has-been.

      Apple is a master at playing this game. (It’s amazing that Apple has only one phone, arguably a limited and outdated device, but it still sells because of Apple’s marketing technique.)

      And one need only look at Verizon’s promotion of the Droid and the Incredible to see the benefits of trumpeting new phones every few months. (E.g., the Lost finale, on the first commercial break there it was, a Droid commercial. Clearly Verizon knows about ad placement and keeping its name out there.) And ask Lost finale viewers which commercial they remember, Verizon’s or T-Mobile’s (that also aired a couple times too during the final).

      Customer Service: Great customer service will keep customers, no matter what. Many people say that if customer service is good they are willing to even pay higher prices for services if the custo service is good.

      I have spoke about the degradation of T-Mobile’s customer service so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice it to say that I am no longer a loyal T-Mobile customer because to me T-Mobile no longer cares about its customers (e.g., some CSRs are incompetent, rude, condescending and at times even bellicose).

      • Tito

        many CSRs are incompetent, rude, condescending and at times even bellicose because they are firing all the good ones.

        I used to work for the magenta in tech support. I was transferring to another level and did everything according to policy and procedure, which dictated to transfer to another department for further troubleshooting. The rep kept asking the same question repeatedly and was trying to decline the call. I got upset with him because he was wasting the customer’s time (at 2am, I might add). He complained to his supervisor, and I was fired for “customer mistreat”, even though I was defending the customer (and the customer was on hold at this time, so it’s not like he heard this).

        Fire the employee who is sticking up for the customer at the complaint of an employee who is refusing to help the customer. That’s a good way to run a business.

      • mad dog

        I normally reply to your posts just to harass you, but I have to say you hit the nail on the head.

  • Tyrone

    What people dont understand about T-Mobile is that in order to Successed in the U.S Market is that you network has to be complete in order to have the types of phones people what. Why do you think T-Mobile is working really hard on there network. It doesnt mean well there behind becuase of 3g. When tmobile complete i can gureente all those who complain will be very satified. They are doing something different then all the other carrier with it comes to coverage and infrasturcture. I have already seen speed as high as 15mps down on 3g+ netowrk and yet the other carrier are working hard for 4g lol. You have to be patient or just leave. Also we about to get the new ceo that running the world overseas when it comes to speed for tmobile germany. Welcome him to the U.S and we shall be on top.

    • rushmore

      Have you read the business posts in this thread for WSJ? Tmo is losing the high margin high end customers that keep two year contracts. The top two reasons people leave carriers is 3G coverage and phones. Perhap mutually inclusive. People bailed from Tmo for Droid, Incredible and now even the EVO and they have similar coverage of TMO, but the EVO is a better device than any Tmo offers.

      If your perspective is the same as Tmo’s that may be why the CEO was zapped. No offense.

  • Marvin

    Like rats deserting a sinking ship, I believe!!

  • Triston

    Just a couple responses to some comments made:
    1) it would be incorrect to speak of the “revolving door” with regard to at least verizon. They maintain the highest customer base consistently, and many of them haven’t left and returned. I believe the majority of those that left (and now returned) had fated flights to ATT for the iphone.
    2) to say that T-Mo “innovated” by releasing android first would be incorrect. T-Mo didn’t innovate android. Sure, it offered it first. That doesn’t change the fact verizon and sprint now (or shortly) will have vastly superior android devices.

    Here’s to the Galaxy, and SOON. I’m not willing to sell out to the last dying winmo device for screen size.

    • Matt Hatter

      splitting hairs here, but I said pioneered.

  • Tito

    I just see this as another nail in the coffin of T-Mobile. Last quarter they lost net subscribers, and only a week after that was announced, he resigns.

    Either he saw a sinking ship and wants to leave while the gettin’s good, or he was asked to resign as a result of the loss.

    First Sue Nokes, now Robert Dotson. At the low-level, they’re also firing a lot of good employees for the stupidest of reasons. T-Mobile is, unfortunately, going ’round the bowl and down the hole. Fast.

  • hi!

    do you think Dotson just wanted to pick up the new EVO?? Maybe he was fed up himself and thought that new iPhone is looking sweet?! :)

    • J-Hop2o6


  • Hurlamania

    Time will tell

  • foxhound2185

    Good. T-Mobile USA can finally thrive like T-Mobile in Europe. T-Mobile USA is way behind compared to other USA wireless providers.

  • Terry

    I was just On The NL Tmo Website..Hopefully they bring some of them nice devices over to usa!

  • foo

    who didnt see this coming…his times was over his vision was short sighted (we’re not a data company statement a few years ago and 3G was for voice capacity) and his almost gloating that he turned down Jobs when he approached him about the iPhone back then. Laughable, who needs an iphone when we have the Shadow (he “designed” that one). I do hope that zee german that is stepping in gives the company some focus and something every business major knows/learns about…a BUSINESS PLAN

    • Captain Picard

      I actually did not know that Dobson passed on the iPhone. Imagine what TMO would look like if it has been an iPhone exclusive carrier all this time. There would be a lot of bad with it though and maybe it is a good thing that they passed on it. Given how much criticism ATT got for shoddy network, imagine if it was the TMO network under all that strain – it is possible that Apple would have broken the agreement with them. All conjecture though so no matter.
      TMO was rather successful with Android at the beginning and should have continued pushing it but for a while now they have been dropping the ball on it and letting competition pass them by.
      I really question this whole focus on myTouch Slide being a family device. How so? I remember seeing that Slide commercial on the web where a middle aged woman is sitting on a porch somewhere and playing with the Slide: the only response I had to it was that a paranoid mom is going through her daughter’s or son’s phone to check on whether they’ve been sexting or not. Give me a break, there is no way the Slide is going to sell to mature adults if it looks like a plastic toy which it does for the most part, especially in comparison to the likes of Droid and EVO. Another one of Dobson’s brilliant plans? I am happy that he’s leaving and my only comment is: not soon enough…

  • SteveBerman

    WOnder if Tmobile will still be in business when the new guy starts… this company is sinking like Sprint.

  • big mac

    Dotson was an excellent CEO, for me to poop on!

  • Big-E

    I apologize if I missed someone making the exact same point I am going to try to make. I glazed over some comments.

    Robert Dotson was good for TMOUSA in the beginning. T-Mobile had something no one else did and that was honesty, caring, and genuine customer service. He kept that focus and value going on a day to day and that brought people in.

    However, the cellphone market has become saturated and much more aggressive. Purely focusing on a customer service centric environment was not a way to continue. People that do not even understand what EDGE is, let alone 3G, feel the need to have it because the ‘masses’ have said this is what they need. I am not saying that it is a bad thing. My point is simply you can not turn a blind eye on the fact that technology, needs, and desires change. You have to grow with the changes or you will ultimately hurt yourself.

    T-Mobile can not just agree to buy up every new latest and greatest phone that is being produced. Complying to the “I need the BEST phone all the time and I need it now” is really a small margin. A decent amount of people, in my experience, that want to jump from carrier to carrier, because of a phone, do not even know what they want out of the phone; other than to look cool when they are in public. T-Mobile definitely needs to improve their line up and pull some heavy hitters. Even if they get a phone that people want they never really prep properly for the demand. I remember reading something right after the iPhone launched about T-Mobile and Verizon having turned down Apple for the iPhone. Whether it was fluff and non-sense is anyone’s guess but it mentioned how the carriers did not like the terms of the contract and how Apple basically wanted full control over the phone. If any of it holds water I am sure they are kicking themselves.

    Towers and coverage are T-Mobile’s fault, as well as government. T-Mobile is at a point where it is pretty damn good in metropolitan areas. However, they usually have a couple main towers and then they start putting up ‘enhancers’ in the area. I am sure most of the time the purpose is to help with higher demands in that specific area, maybe try and improve penetration in buildings but they need to branch out more. Of course, that is usually where government, towns, etc slap them. In my area, I know of 3 towns that have poor T-Mobile coverage because they refuse to let T-Mobile add any towers/additional towers. Usually have a town meeting for it and it gets declined. T-Mobile has no control over that.

    As far as plans, well, they are what they are. T-Mobile changes them so often and so inconsistently that customer’s barely know what plans are available. They are relatively competitive and decent, no one will ever be happy with rate plans unless they can spend $20 for everything unlimited. It was not too long ago that home phones were $50 – $70 a month. People paid that without much of a complaint, but now a mobile phone bill is just too much money that provides calls to land lines, cell phones, long distance, text messages, picture messages, internet browsing, etc.

    Obviously, I do not know anything about what goes on. Big DT can have a tight leash on whatever money they give TMOUSA. Making them use it how they want. I know they have spent billions on towers and data infrastructure, so I could only imagine they would be willing to put a few hundred million into the proper phone line up.

    End of the day, Dotson had his purpose, he was a good leader. He was just past his prime and did not make the changes at the right time. Whether Humm can bring things around is anyone’s guess. By the sounds of it though, he is going to be more focused on cutting TMOUSA costs, tightening things up, and trying to bring money back in. That kind of mentality usually means that it is going to hurt employees first with pay cuts, re-evaluation of high-paid employees, and then the customer’s will ultimately loose out with poor quality or miserable employees. Anyone’s guess, I suppose. TMOUSA just needs to get some big contending phones and re-brand themselves to draw a crowd.

    All comments are purely based on my opinions and experiences in the wireless industry. I have seen a lot and heard a lot. I, mostly, was bored and felt like ranting. =P

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Great points Big-E.

      Clearly some bad decisions were made and that, IMHO, falls on the captain of the TMOUS ship, Dotson.

      Having been with T-Mobile since 2004, my impression is that TMOUS decided on focusing becoming the value carrier rather than investing in data and spectrum. To be sure, becoming the value carrier did not require much investment on infrastructure since most value-centric subscribers are fine with Enhanced Data for Global Evolution.

      So now where is T-Mobile at, playing catch up for two years of doing nothing to stay competitive. In 2010 T-Mobile has 33 million customers who are the K-Mart shoppers of the wireless industry. In contrast Verizon and AT&T jointly have over 185 million subscribers.

      And as others have said in here, T-Mobile at times made some great moves, such as getting the exclusive on RIM’s first consumer phone, the Pearl, and being the first out with an Android-based handset.

      But it appears that T-Mobile does not know what to do after it makes great initial first moves. They operate like they are only capable of having “one-hit wonders.” There’s no follow up with the next hit.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    P. Humm is a merger and partnership expert, and a deal maker. He did all these things in Europe. Plus he’s German. German businessmen don’t dick around.

    I suspect he is being brought in to close on some big deals (e.g., for spectrum).

    And he knows about handsets and the importance of such.

    He strikes me as the type who will say “Why isn’t the fooking Galaxy S in our lineup? Get that godd%m*ed phone on store shelves now, you morons! And remember, tell the public that the SGS is 10X better than that pussy Jobs’ iPhone. But put it in a nice way.”

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Then again, in regards to the iPhone as it relates to Herr Humm, take a look at this.


    And take a look at this second pic, Herr Humm looks like a Type A and the opposite of Dotson.


  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Oops… forgot the link. Here it is:


  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Wernda… good query.

    Contracts on deals this size and importance cover all contingencies. You can bet the contracts between AT&T and Apple specify what Apple could and could not do on phone development. No doubt there is a clause that prohibits Apple from having anything that constitutes a phone or has phone call capability and making it available to anyone but AT&T.

    To that extent, I wonder how the iPad was addressed. Did the iPhone contract between Apple and AT&T include development and selling of the iPad? I suspect so since the iPad has been dumbed down in terms of being able to make phone calls. While one can make Skype type calls on the iPad, that’s a cumbersome process.

    Moreover, didn’t AT&T get exclusivity on providing data to the iPad? That must have been a sweet deal for Apple since the unlimited data plan is only $30.

    In any event, just saying how these matters are dealt with in contracts. Apple can’t develop a phone, call it ApplePhone, for example, and sell it to T-Mobile. Things are a lot more complicated than that.

    If you want hope, however, as you can see from the pic I posted, Philipp Humm appears to know the value of having the iPhone in T-Mobile’s offerings. If anyone can get the iPhone on to T-Mobile’s shelves, he is the guy.

    That may be one of his first priorities on taking over TMOUS, getting the iPhone for T-Mobile. To be sure, since he got it for T-Mobile Europe, he knows who to call at Apple to set those wheels in motion.

  • Special K

    There is a definite perception with T-Mobile that can at times appear negative; and it is something that needs to be focused on:

    Customer Service –> It needs to get back to the high level it was at. Each and every interaction is so important from retail to over the phones. Customers need to know we are there for them! Bottom line!

    Coverage —> Put up towers, make deals happen, and set up a marketing campaign that gets people realizing, “Hey, we upgraded our network. It’s bigger and faster!” Customer’s care about coverage. It can’t just be coverage in the big cities either. People LEAVE the cities, and sometimes don’t LIVE in the cities. This needs to be addressed.

    Phone Line-up —> Getting the correct phones for customers, and marketing them as such. You want people to feel their device is coolest, best and you NEED to have it. When a phone is marketed, there are three ways of going about it:

    1) Larger than Life (think Droid)
    2) Be creative and efficient in how you function (think IPhone)
    3) If you have a phone like this, you can be like this guy (aka: NOT our MyTouch commercials, lol…nobody wants to be Chevy Chase!)

    Value Leader —> You have to turn this “value” into something tangible for customers. Commercials that show what the saved money actually is to customers. I have so many commercial ideas, and how you can even turn competitors commercials against them!

    To me, setting clear and concrete goals with a plan to achieve them is the only way T-Mobile will turn these last 7 quarters of low performance around. It will take a lot of work, much commitment from the top down, but ultimately it can be done. I’m confident.

    • Jprince

      Couldn’t agree with you more. You hit the nail on the head.

  • mahogany1

    Now hopefully the phone buyer will get fired next week in the new restructuring. Maybe we will see some consistency and follow through. How about a return to good customer service……….

  • jdouble

    after working for this company for 3 years and putting up with all their bullsh!#!@# im so glad to see this weak dude leave. He had plenty opp to make tmobile a force but failures in getting inline in what consumers really wanted was just bad business. For years tmobile will be looked at as a “kiddy” phones company that image is gonna last for a while until tmo stops acting like a kid and grow some and get with it. I want tmo to succeed i really do and lately their trying really really hard i just think doesn’t matter who takes over it may to just a little late not even whoopi goldberg can save them……well maybe chevy chase can

  • John

    Good. Maybe now we can get some “real” phones. Not the kiddy phones they seems to be always puting out. Bring on Samsung Galaxy S and more high end Andrioid.

  • Rob

    It’s about time, I have been waiting for T-Mobile to do something and hopefully with a new CEO things will turn around.

    It sucks being one of the biggest T-Mobile advocates and working for AT&T all at the same time. While I love T-Mobile to death their line up of phone sucks horribly. I hear so much crap about T-Mobile crappy service and phone selection and all I can ever say is we have the best plans, but what good is a great plan with a crap phone????

    Their phone selection is geared toward the market of teens and toddlers to say the least. Why focus on a market as fickle as this. Who carries about a queer colors in a device, plain and simple we want a Higher End device that will do it all and then some. I bought the G1 and now I have the BB 9700, if my BlackBerry had’ve not satisfied me this time I might have left. Seriously! For once I would like T-Mobile to stand and fight and throw a punch back at AT&T and Verizon.

    A low blow wouldn’t hurt either of these carriers, please T-Mobile fight!!! Do something for once, stand up or at least make an attempt to.

  • werker_b

    Blah, blah, blah… you sound desperate… like a groupie… a superphone groupie. If you want the top- go get it. Or, did you forget that T-Mo has always accepted unlocked GSM phones- even iPhone? You sound like the same kind of person that will cry til they get the phone you want, then cry til they make it the price you want, then cry when it only gets 3G and won’t do your laundry and clean your room for you. Pansy mofo…

    • Rob

      Desperate, I am far from it idiot. While I love T-Mobile I firmly believe in getting what you pay for. What’s the use of having a phone if it doesn’t work or is not able to keep up with your lifestyle.

      I sell cell phones all day everyday and the fact that you would even make the comment suggest you are one of the queerboys who sees a shiny new phone and buys it without looking at what is under the hood first.

      A superphone groupie, ha I call it wanting the best and refusing to settle. There is no reason why T-Mobile is not ready to compete on a larger scale than they have in the past. I’m not the only who feels this way, (see comments above) how about next time you look a little further past the few centimeters in your pants to the future, rahtard.

      Why would I buy a iPhone that is uninsurable unless it is through a third party, or run the risk of it freeezing up once it is unlocked. Newb.

  • ShockTroop

    This is the best this to happen to T-Mobile in a long time. This company needs to change direction fast. Management from the top down sucks, Humm needs to gut his sales staff and get some killers in the stores along with people that can actually lead + do the job they expect there employees to do. This is a sales based company + T-Mobile needs to stop acting like everyones friend and start selling some phones. Provide a better line up of devices and be the first to do something that matters for once. Push out HSPA paired with the iPhone and keep the price point competitive. People will pay for a good product! Try it out for once…