New T-Mobile USA CEO to take over next year

Current CEO and President Robert Dotson will leave the company in 2011, with former T-Mobile Deutschland chief Philipp Humm gearing up to replace him.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Robert Dotson, president and CEO of T-Mobile USA, plans to leave the wireless company in May of next year, after a new chief executive takes up the reins in February.

Dotson's posts will be filled by Philipp Humm, an executive with T-Mobile USA's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, and former CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland. Humm is currently in charge of DT's sales and service in Europe as chief regional officer.

Philipp Humm T-Mobile USA

On July 1 of this year, Humm will join T-Mobile USA as president and CEO designate.

Dotson, who will stay on as a non-executive member of T-Mobile USA's board until May, is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

"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 statement Wednesday announcing the shift in leadership. "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."

Named chief operating officer of T-Mobile USA in 2001, Dotson was appointed president the following year and CEO in 2003. At the time, then T-Mobile USA Chairman John Stanton said that Dotson's promotion to CEO stemmed from the company's quick growth under his presidency.

But lately parent Deutsche Telekom has been less than pleased with T-Mobile USA's performance in the face of competition from Verizon and AT&T, leading to speculation that DT may spin off the unit on the open market. Technical difficulties have posed a challenge since T-Mobile uses GSM technology, while the most likely merger candidates are CDMA carriers, and merging the two different networks would be an expensive undertaking.

Humm, through his current position as European regional chief, brings to the table strong experience in international sales and customer service, according to Deutsche Telekom. He's led DT's five national mobile companies in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Poland, and played a key role in the recent U.K. joint venture between T-Mobile UK and Orange UK of France Telekom.

Serving as T-Mobile Deutschland CEO from 2005 until 2008, Humm took the reins of the company during a sluggish market period and revived it into one of Germany's top mobile operators in terms of customers and sales, according to DT. Humm also has experience in the U.S. under his belt. Prior to joining DT, he spent 10 years working in senior positions for U.S. entities including McKinsey, Procter & Gamble, and Amazon.

"With Philipp, we have an excellent leader with an outstanding track record in the mobile industry," DT CEO Rene Obermann said in a statement. "During his five years at Deutsche Telekom, Philipp has proven bold leadership and intense determination to succeed."