Earlier this year Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile USA, said it was considering spinning off its U.S. unit. Instead, the German firm is spinning off the unit's chief executive Robert Dotson, who is leaving for personal reasons, the company said.
Faced with a mounting loss of subscribers and a spectrum portfolio that is perceived to be weaker than competitors', Deutsche Telekom said it will bring in Philipp Humm from the parent company. The changeover will take about a year, the company said, and Dotson pledged to work closely with Humm "to ensure marketplace success and to enable a seamless leadership transition."
"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," said Dotson.
In recent months, T-Mobile USA has been scrambling to find a way to return to its previous growth. It is the number four U.S. wireless carrier in subscriber numbers and doesn't have a major feature to distinguish itself from its competitors. AT&T, for instance, has the iPhone, Verizon Wireless is ready to deploy its robust LTE network, and Sprint is rolling out its 4G WiMax network through its partnership with Clearwire.
In March, T-Mobile USA announced a major new push in Web hosting, but the feature isn't expected to attract many new subscribers.
Perhaps most interesting of all, the company was reported to be talking with hedge fund Harbinger Capital, which has been building a hybrid satellite/terrestrial wireless network. Even if that deal can be accomplished, it will take considerable time to be successful. In the meantime, T-Mobile USA is working on deploying a HSPA+ high-speed wireless service.
Although Humm has recently been serving as head of Deutsche Telekom's European sales and customer service, he has considerable experience working in the United States at companies including McKinsey & Co. and Amazon. He is credited with leading a turnaround of Deutsche Telekom's German business.