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T-Mobile's US CEO to quit next year amid shrinking share

updated 12:55 pm EDT, Wed May 26, 2010

T-Mobile chief Dotson to exit in 2011

T-Mobile's US branch showed signs of upheaval today as its chief executive Robert Dotson said he would leave the company next year. He intends to resign as CEO in February 2011 and will stay on as a regular board of directors member until May. The move was billed by Dotson as long in coming and an opportunity for him to spend more time with family as well as to look into "entirely new and unique challenges."

Parent company Deutche Telekom's own CEO, Rene Olbermann, was surprised and said he "sincerely regret[ted]" Dotson leaving. T-Mobile Germany's former CEO Philipp Humm will come to the American division on July 1st this year in a designated role and has a reputation for turning around the ailing cell carrier at home as well as a stint at Amazon.

Although characterized as voluntary, the executive swap follows as T-Mobile has had little success expanding its foothold in the US. It lost 77,000 subscribers in its latest quarter and has rarely gained more than a few hundred thousand customers in the past several quarters, even with high-profile phones like the G1 and myTouch 3G. T-Mobile was the first to adopt Android in the US but has quickly been eclipsed by Verizon as Google's favorite. Its need to use an uncommon 3G frequency has also kept it away from desirable phones that would end up on AT&T, such as the iPhone.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004



    t-mo just had a mini success with the HTC HD2, a winmo phone of all things. Plus they have the Nokia Nuron - sure its not exciting and kind of primitive in many ways, but free turn-by-turn navigation and 3g unlimited data access for only $10 a month, makes it unique as a value smartphone. Soon they'll have the N8, bring Symbian into more u.s. households.

    Sure none of that is going to turn them out of 4th place any time soon, thats for sure, but I'm impressed that they've managed to more or less tread water...when economies of scale favoring other companies...and market forces should be putting them under, its sometimes impressive to maintain your market share.

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Finding their niche

    I like T-Mobile and I'm a quite satisfied T-Mobile customer, but they do seem to be struggling to find their niche. My suggestions:

    1. Forget the 'with it, youthful' image and go for sensible, frugal users whatever their age. T-Mobile already has an excellent pay-per-minute plan, they need to publicize it better.

    2. There are quite a few people who don't need pricey mega-plans with hundreds of minutes/month. Target them and offer perks the others are refusing to provide. The market needs plans with modest numbers of minutes than roll-over when not used. Sell one for 100 minutes and if the customer uses 90 minutes, the next month they have 110 minutes to use. Most light users would soon accumulate hundreds of such minutes they could use if a family emergency develops and having all those minutes in the bank could help T-Mobile hang on to customers.

    3. Make the best use they can of their limited data bandwidth and frequencies. Create a reasonably priced, per-megabyte plan that draws from the same prepay account as voice or one that charges a phone plan as if data megabytes were voice minutes. In short, don't force customers to have two plans with two charges when they really only want 1.2 plans (voice with occasional data or data with occasional voice).

    4. There are a lot of iPhones filtering into the used market and the new iPhone and OS 4 is likely to increase their numbers. It's totally absurd that iPhones whose contracts have expired aren't automatically unlocked and thus available for use on T-Mobile networks with no limitations or hassles. Show some backbone and sponsor a class action lawsuit to force Apple to unlock all out-of-contract iPhones.

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