Vodafone brings ex-T-Mobile USA chief on board

Vodafone has hired Phillipp Humm, who was until earlier this week the chief of T-Mobile USA, to head up its northern and central European operations.The operating region is a new one, as Vodafone also announced on Thursday that it was splitting its European business in two: northern and central Europe, and southern Europe.

Vodafone has hired Phillipp Humm, who was until earlier this week the chief of T-Mobile USA, to head up its northern and central European operations.

The operating region is a new one, as Vodafone also announced on Thursday that it was splitting its European business in two: northern and central Europe, and southern Europe. The latter will be led by Paolo Bertoluzzo, already the chief executive of Vodafone Italy.

"Vodafone is a powerful brand with a strong focus on the customer coupled with a clear strategy for growth. I look forward to joining the team," Humm said in a statement.

Given the current financial crisis, there is quite a disparity between the northern/central and southern European markets. Vodafone said in May that the poor economic situation in southern Europe was dragging down profits.

"Our new regional structure will underpin our strategy focused on meeting our customers' long-term needs, and Paolo and Philipp will be strong additions to the Vodafone Group Executive Committee," Vodafone Group chief Vittorio Colao said.

Humm headed up T-Mobile USA for two years, during which time he led efforts to sell the business to local rival AT&T. Regulators blocked the deal because it would have been anti-competitive.

Under the new Vodafone structure, southern Europe means Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Albania and Malta.

Northern and central Europe comprises the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and — somewhat counter-intuitively — Turkey. Turkey is one of the world's fastest-growing economies at the moment, so economically it makes sense to lump it in with the north/central operating group, but the move is geographically dubious.

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