Mobile

Former T-Mobile CEO to head Vodafone in Europe

A day after resigning as chief executive at T-Mobile USA, Philipp Humm said he’ll lead rival Vodafone’s efforts in Europe, starting October 1.

Humm will become Vodafone’s chief executive in northern and central Europe for areas such as Britain, Germany, Turkey, and the Czech Republic, Reuters reports.

Humm’s announcement follows mixed messages from T-Mobile about the reasons he left Wednesday. Although  T-Mobile, the U.S. arm of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, provided the usual cover about spending more time with his family, parent company Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Rene Obermann told  employees Humm was going to a rival.

Unlike T-Mobile USA, which has found it difficult to attract customers amid competition from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Vodafone has thrived in Europe. Vodafone has been concentrated on northern Europe and so has seen success despite a slowdown in consumer interest in southern Europe.

In recognition of that bi-polar attitude, Vodafone announced today Humm would lead the northern Europe portion of the company, while Vodafone Italy chief executive Paolo Bertoluzzo would head the southern European region: Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

The new European structure “will underpin our strategy focused on meeting our customers’ long-term needs, and Paolo and Phillip will be strong additions to the Vodafone group executive committee,” said chief executive Vittorio Calao.

Humm’s departure from T-Mobile USA has been linked to the failed merger with AT&T. The giant U.S. carrier had offered $39 billion for T-Mobile USA, but after regulatory pressure, the merger was axed, and AT&T ended up paying T-Mobile $3 billion. Before moving to lead T-Mobile in 2010, Humm had overseen the parent company’s operations in Germany since 2005.

Photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

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