T-Mobile USA CEO Phillipp Humm resigns

Jun 27, 2012

Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA says Chief Executive Phillipp Humm is leaving to join his family back in Europe. An analyst says Humm was probably tired of the parent company not investing enough in its U.S. subsidiary.

Humm was appointed CEO of T-Mobile USA less than two years ago by its parent, Deutsche Telekom. Then, a few months later, AT&T announced that it was buying T-Mobile. That deal ultimately unraveled after the federal government challenged it.

Morningstar analyst Allan Nichols says Humm probably has been frustrated by the parent company’s unwillingness to invest enough for T-Mobile to really compete with the biggest cell-phone carriers.

"With Deutsche Telekom not wanting to put a lot more money into it, I think he said, I’ve had enough, I’m ready to go back to Germany and do something different," Nichols said.

Nichols says Deutsche Telekom failed to take advantage of earlier opportunities to buy wireless spectrum and is now playing catchup by swapping some spectrum with Verizon. And he says, Deutsche Telekom was also reluctant to subsidize the iPhone, which has hurt business as cell-phone users opt for other carriers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Humm is joining an unnamed competitor in Europe. T-Mobile says its chief operating officer, Jim Alling, will take over as interim CEO. T-Mobile employs about 4,800 people in the Puget Sound region.