Philipp Humm

London-based telecom company Vodafone announced this morning that it has hired hired Philipp Humm, the former T-Mobile USA CEO, solving the mystery of which competitor Humm would be joining after his abrupt departure from the Bellevue company.

Humm will become Vodafone’s chief executive for Northern and Central Europe, going head-to-head with Deutsche Telekom, the T-Mobile USA parent company, in its home country of Germany in addition to the UK, the Netherlands, Turkey, Ireland, Hungary the Czech Republic and Romania.

That helps to explain the abrupt nature of his departure. In an internal memo to T-Mobile USA employees yesterday, obtained by GeekWire, Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann said Humm informed him a few days ago that he would be joining a Deutsche Telekom competitor, but Obermann didn’t identify the other company.

Humm has been replaced by chief operating officer Jim Alling on an interim basis, while the company looks for a permanent successor.

Headquartered in Bellevue, T-Mobile has about 35,000 employees following a new round of job cuts last month. T-Mobile USA has been struggling to find its footing after regulators blocked the acquisition of the company by AT&T.

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