Former T-Mobile CEO Heads To Vodafone, T-Mobile USA Posts Official Statement

We’ve learned early this morning that former T-Mobile USA CEO Philip Humm is on his way to a top job at Deutsche Telekom European competitor, Vodafone. A Reuters report says Humm will “oversee the British firm’s presence in such markets as Germany, Britain, Turkey and the Czech Republic.”

For its own part, Vodafone announced on Thursday it was splitting its European region into two parts, Northern/Central and Southern Europe. Humm will being taking over the former with the chief executive of Vodafone Italy taking over the latter.

“Our new regional structure will underpin our strategy focused on meeting our customers’ long-term needs, and Paolo and Philipp will be strong additions to the Vodafone group executive committee,” Vittorio Colao said in a statement.

T-Mobile said on Wednesday through its official statement (down below) that Humm was leaving for personal reasons, however internally, a letter from Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann said Humm was leaving to join a competitor.

P.S. In case you are wondering, the above image is a picture of interim CEO, Jim Alling.



Full T-Mobile USA Statement:

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.”

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  • Well at least we know why he left now, lol.

  • Those poor, poor, Vodafone customers…

    BTW doesn’t sound like he’ll be involved in it, but Vodafone is the co-owner of Verizon Wireless.

  • omnirep

    Vodafone employees don’t look now the grim reaper is headed your way. Dr. Death has jumped ship from T-Mobile and is coming to your town. Get those resumes updated.

  • PRx

    Makes me wonder if he signed a non-compete agreement… especially being at the top in t-mobile…

  • On another note, you have to wonder. It sounds like Vodafone actually headhunted him, it’s not like he spent a few months in the wilderness.

    Why do failed executives have no problems getting jobs? Carly Fiorina would be a classic example, absolute disaster at HP (and arguably the American economy overall, given her history at HP of taking over superb companies and turning them into marketing organizations for third rate imported hardware), and she’s still treated like she’s the second coming of Warren Buffet.

    • Chumlee

       Once you achieve a certain status, you no longer need to actually perform. It’s like the Wall Street people that get million dollar bonuses for….doing a terrible job and ruining the economy. Most people….get fired when they suck.

  • Corona

    Does this mean we get to have the One X now? :)

  • ReyTFox

    René Obermann is such a perpetual liar; one lie in particular claiming that Humm’s family moved to the U.S. with him, to allay concerns.

  • Ricky McLaughlin

    While I’ve seen far creepier, the smile on his face is a bit unnerving. 

    • Deadeye37

       Agreed.  His level of creepiness reminds me of Cillian Murphy in some of his roles (Scarecrow in Batman Begins and Creepy guy in Red Eye).  Nice on the exterior, but is going to try to kill you in 15 minutes.

  • Havoktek

    Damn I called it yesterday, I knew he was staying euro. Family and Money win all the time, screw the Rest.

  • Frigadroid

    Hilarious isn’t it? One would think he deserves a signing bonus for running tmobile usa into the ground the way he did. The Challenger strategy is really paying off as I predicted the classic sinking ship business syndrome! Instead of righting the ship the captain takes the first lifeboat he sees. What a pathetic leader, it is very good to see the corrupt carpetbagger go.

  • Elpapipr

    He is a  “Deutsche bag”

    • BookLover15

       Lol I guess it was bound to happen.

  • I wouldn’t let Humm bag my groceries,

  • omnirep

    My God David did you think your job was going to be this easy when you started this blog ? It’s like a entertainment blogger that follows Lindsay Lohan. They are always giving you something to write about and usually its filled with drama.

  • Lani

    In a month you all will forget about Humm.   If his family prefers Europe and he landed a good job, then more power to him.  Remember his decisions were factored by the Exec Board Members of TmobileUSA.  The CEO doesn’t have the last say in everything.

    In big corps, a few months before a CEO leaves, the lowest profitable positions of the company is cut first and everyone can blame it on past CEO who left the company.  The remaining employees sharpen their pencils and concentrate on making the company better for everyone so that no other cuts are required.  If any sourpusses remain, they are told where to find the exit door to their happiness.  Corporations do this all the time, one day when you are older, you will understand this concept.

    Humm didn’t have the last word in anything.  As always its up to the Board of Execs at TmobileUSA to decide what direction they will allow their next CEO to steer the boat.

    Would love to see everyone post viable solutions to make TmobileUSA #1 (looking to the future) rather than looking at the past. 

    If its the Board Execs who control the TmobileUSA marketing, then its time to flush those geezers and get newness, or tell the Board Execs to stay out of the Marketing Dept and let them be more creative with gooberness.  Yes TmobileUSA ads are a little better, now that Carly isn’t gooberish with a megenta poka dot dress.  In 5 years when you look back at those ads that ran for too long, you’ll know what I mean.  OK the motorcycle ad is a lot cooler, but how long is that going to run and is it working?

    • Grammatica di Polizia

      People need to read your comment, it is one of the best I have seen posted on TMoNews. Thanks for posting it. It is refreshing to see this kind of commentary instead of people named “Dumbazz” bringing down the quality of the discussion.

      • None

        Saying “one day when you are older, you will understand this concept” is just as rude as what Dumbazz would say.

        • Gouv

          not really it’s pretty accurate.

    • The B Sharp

      This post was very insightful as far as big corporations are concerned. Good read!

    • Zw77wz

       Humm answered to the Germans (as he was brought in by them), not to some hypothetical USA board of directors.  No imaginary USA-based corporate board could dismiss him.  For your age related comment, I would love to see you detail your insight and credentials in any facet of the business world.

      When a company is gutted, the survivors don’t get sharp to help the company, they get sharp to save their own lot – which isn’t necessarily the same. 

      We’ll see what the ads do when the next quarterly results are released. I am not terribly optimistic…but it’s better than the past couple years of invisible marketing, I guess.

      • That said, he does answer to the Deutsche Telekom board. Unlike other T-Mobile branches, T-Mobile USA is still directly under the management of Deutsche Telekom. Other non-German branches are under the management of T-Mobile International AG. While T-Mobile International AG owns T-Mobile USA, it doesn’t have a lot of say in T-Mobile USA affairs.

  • BW

    It’s interesting to read the comments about Humm – did everyone forget the mess that Dotson created? Humm actually talked about phones and network performance, something Dotson would never do.  Yes, he closed call centers – that would have happened regardless of who was CEO at the time.

  • BW601

    It’s interesting to read the comments about Humm – did everyone forget the mess that Dotson created? Humm actually talked about phones and network performance, something Dotson would never do.  Yes, he closed call centers – that would have happened regardless of who was CEO at the time.

    • kalel33

       He changed the entire culture at T-mobile to one of sales and not service.  Under Dotson, they never had a negative quarter of contract customers.  They were number 1 in customer service and people liked working there.  Humm made the work environment hostile towards employees and towards the customers.  Customer service was an afterthought to sales numbers.  They’ve lost hundreds of thousands of net contract customers each and every quarter since he became CEO and took the best customer service(12 out of the last 14 quarters) and turned it into the worst. 

      • Third_Eye

        I thought that was to ensure that TMo customer service was on par with ATT’s so that merger would be more in level ;-)

        • kalel33

           The sales were started in the 4th quarter of 2010 but the AT&T acquisition didn’t start until March of 2011.

      • Imprezaowner27

         +1 to this, I usually come on here and read dumb comments but this is pretty acurate.  The culture of the company has changed DRAMATICALLY.  I used to go to work to help customers, now i go to work to sell….and just sell.  Have a problem with your phone? I can master reset, if that doesnt work, i hope you have insurance because thats the only thing i can do.  You dont want 2GB, you NEED 5GB, trust me, i work here.  While I can sell and im making more money than ever, I can see it in customers eyes that we have shifted from the little guy, to the corporate company, and they dont trust us anymore, in fact most think we are going against them.  I try to be the sales rep that tells the truth no matter what, and that is genuinely there to help, but my hands are tied in most cases, especially when it comes to discounts or help….611 is my last resort but its usually the only tool i have to not hear the same repetitive sob story from customers over and over again.  This new CEO better have a cleared vision of what its like on the front lines, and what it takes to gain customers trust.  I bet you any money that customers would be happy to pay a little more for their phones, and sign new 2 year contracts given the fact that they KNOW, they have an associate to turn to, that will help them in the even that they need it.  I hand out my business card and tell people to call me first, before calling care, and ill tend to their needs the best I can….i only look for their loyalty in return.

  • smithgo

    good thing he left we need an american CEO not someone that wishes he lived in Europe

  • Ne0

    CEO need to had longer contracts, otherwise they in for few years once know all the secrets of the company and goes for their rival, the contract must spell if you go to rival company expect huge fined or something similar.

  • guidomus_maximus

    “Now we need somebody who can convert initiatives into market-successes.”

  • guidomus_maximus

    Plus he talks a good talk, but its not from a position of knowledge

  • mingkee

    Enemy was in the house!

  • J Hodges

    I get the impression this was a huge step up.  If that’s the case, I can’t begrudge the guy. Not to discount our beloved T-Mobile but Vodaphone is tops in the EU, is it not?  Going from #4 in the US to #1 in the EU isn’t a bad trade-off.

  • J-Hop2o6

    So I guess we’ll see a Vodafone & DT merge attempt soon, but will utterly fail?

    • MagentaMadness


  • and no one see’s a problem with this? TMO is becoming an utter failure!

    • W Millerjr

      Exactly why would this be??

  • Lani

    Now rhat Humm is gone, what would you do to make TMobileUSA #1?

    • Pimpn8ez

      Bring back Sue Nokes!!!

  • Rommy0515

    Note to self. Short Vodafone. 

  • IamnotStuPidTmobile

    Good. This is a good thing for T-Mobile USA customers. Maybe if the Germans actually put someone in charge who cares for US customers, T-Mobile can be saved. Who knows, maybe T-Mobile can even get a pre-paid iPhone or something, lol! It would be nice to see T-Mobile back after changing into a wanna-be cut throat carrier while trying to be bought by AT&T.

  • Luis

    Stop outsourcing to people that don’t have a clue of what they are doing. Tmo is not going to last long..very sad