T-Mobile USA Robert Dotson will resign from the carrier in 2011, parent company Deutsche Telekom said. Philipp Humm, a former CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland, will take over the reins at the nation's No. 4 carrier.
Dotson is capping a 15-year career with T-Mobile, and his resignation comes at a time of great uncertainty for the carrier. The company has been struggling with lackluster subscriber growth while searching for a clear 4G network strategy.
Humm will join T-Mobile as the designated CEO, effective July 1, and will formally take over as CEO in February 2011, and Dotson will remain on as a T-Mobile non-executive board member until May 2011. Humm, 50, is currently Deutsche Telekom's chief regional officer for Europe, and is responsible for sales and service in the area. He served as the CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland from 2005 until 2008, where he transformed the carrier into Germany's leading operator in terms of subscribers and service revenue. Recently, he played a crucial role in brokering the merger between T-Mobile UK and France Telecom's Orange UK brand.
In a statement, Dotson said he is stepping down to spend more time with his family and to take on new challenges.
T-Mobile USA reported a net loss of 77,000 subscribers in the first quarter, and it struggled with both postpaid customer losses and weaker prepaid growth. By year-end T-Mobile expects to have HSPA+ technology deployed across the vast majority of its 3G footprint, covering more than 100 metropolitan areas and 185 million people.
However, T-Mobile's 4G strategy is anything but clear. Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann declined to comment on whether T-Mobile was holding preliminary talks with Harbinger Capital Partners to become a wholesale customer of its proposed LTE network. He said T-Mobile USA needs to be open to cooperation on 4G, "for instance with other network operators, where one could share the network in certain regions," because capital expenditures "would be huge if you plan to cover a large area. So we need to remain open to that, there's no question."
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