Düsseldorf “Hello everyone, I’m back. And I’ve got some great news. ”Mike Sievert smiles broadly when he says that. In the past few weeks, things had become quieter around the new head of T-Mobile US, the subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

Now he stepped in front of the camera with a new outfit. With a gray mottled beard and gray polo shirt with a magenta T-Mobile logo, the 52-year-old used a video message to attune his team and customers to a new corporate strategy under his leadership.

Sievert faces several problems. T-Mobile took over rival Sprint in April. Due to the corona pandemic with contact restrictions, the long-prepared integration had to be adapted in many places. Merging the corporations and mobile networks is complicated. The corona virus makes it a little more complicated.

At the same time, Sievert has to find a new role for itself. His predecessor John Legere had tailored the company to himself. With his shrill appearances and the constant blasphemy against the competition, he had made himself the face of T-Mobile US.

But he also left four months ago. So far, Sievert was the silent strategist in the background.

Sievert is setting an example with a new initiative. He announced new battle prices for the American mobile market. For just $ 25 a month, customers should get a 5G real-time mobile contract with unlimited data. For just an additional five dollars a month, T-Mobile even adds a 5G-capable smartphone from Samsung. The campaign comes directly in the package for four connections and thus targets families.

Sievert celebrates the offer as a package with “never seen prices”. That sounds full-bodied – but is also not an exaggeration. In the United States, traditionally, a lot is spent on mobile phone contracts. Average spending is usually well above $ 40 a month.

Bonn managers were startled

The discount goes so far that even managers at Deutsche Telekom’s corporate headquarters in Bonn were taken aback. Because mobile phone tariffs are usually significantly more expensive in the USA than in Germany. However, for the unlimited tariff including 5G, Deutsche Telekom is currently charging EUR 82.81 a month on its home market. Some in Bonn fear that supply in the US could squeeze margins in the longer term.

The campaign is an opportunity for Sievert to prove itself. It is part of the plan to make T-Mobile a major player in the US market and to challenge the dominant providers Verizon and AT&T. With the battle price, T-Mobile wants to retain customers and win new ones. At the same time, Sievert is promoting the company’s 5G network.

In contrast to the competition, T-Mobile can already offer 5G in many parts of the USA. “At Verizon, customers only get 5G for less than one percent of the time,” Sievert said against the competition. T-Mobile customers, on the other hand, would have a 5G signal almost 23 percent of the time. “Our 5G is getting bigger and better the more we combine the T-Mobile and Sprint networks,” announced Sievert.

The economist has been an important background strategist at T-Mobile for the past seven years. Insiders describe him as the pioneer behind the aggressive and at the same time successful strategy of the network operator. “He masters the strategy. Now he has to show that he can also be the face of the company, ”said a senior telecom manager.

Sievert is one of the most important employees for Deutsche Telekom as a whole. Under CEO Timotheus Höttges, the group had managed to make US business, which had been difficult for many years, the most important growth driver for the group. Today, the United States accounts for around half of Telekom’s total sales. Höttges publicly praised Sievert several times. At his start as CEO of T-Mobile in April, Höttges said: “He has been involved in all important corporate decisions since he joined T-Mobile in 2012.”

Mike Sievert in January 2020

The CEO wants to step out of the shadow of T-Mobile US legend John Legere.

(Foto: Bloomberg)

Under Legere, T-Mobile stood for being an agile attacker. This enabled the brand to win price-conscious customers. In contrast to AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile is weakly positioned among business customers. Sievert is supposed to change that. It is intended to ensure that the brand becomes a reliable partner for corporate customers from a shrill attacker.

Sievert can look back on many years of experience in the industry. He worked for AT&T and the Canadian telecommunications company Rogers, among others. Before joining T-Mobile US, he was chief commercial officer at broadband provider Clearwire Corporation.

In the more than seven years at the Telekom-US subsidiary, he held various positions. Before he was promoted to the top position, he was the chief operating officer and was responsible for large parts of the company such as marketing, product development, retail management, sales and customer care. These skills will help him now.

More: Deutsche Telekom in the balance check.