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February 21, 2007

T-Mobile USA chief marketer leaving

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:15 AM

After ushering in a new image at T-Mobile USA late last year, the Bellevue company's head marketing officer Mike Butler is leaving.

Butler, who started at the company in 2004, was instrumental in changing T-Mobile's marketing campaign.

In October, T-Mobile USA said it was sidelining Catherine Zeta-Jones as its celebrity spokeswoman, and opting instead to launch an ad campaign based on everyday people.

As part of the switch, T-Mobile said it was introducing MyFaves, a service that allows subscribers to make and receive unlimited calls from their five favorite people -- regardless of whether those people are T-Mobile subscribers.

The company's tagline changed from "Get More" to "Stick Together."

T-Mobile declined to get too specific about the chief's departure, but released this statement:

"Mike Butler is leaving T-Mobile and his creative horsepower will be missed. Mike's contribution and leadership in building a strong national brand has been instrumental in driving our rapid growth and establishing our most recent new positioning behind Stick Together. Robert Dotson remains as not only the CEO but Chief Brand Officer and ensures the continuity of this new brand position into the future."

The week following the brand change, T-Mobile held a New York press conference to unveil long-term plans that included rolling out faster cell phone networks to compete against the other national wireless carriers. It spent $4 billion on new spectrum to enable the roll-out.

It was there that T-Mobile USA's CEO Dotson said it was crucial for the company to no longer position itself as a low-cost provider, but as a brand that offers great things.

Dotson is no stranger to implementing marketing campaigns. Prior to working at T-Mobile, he worked at Pepsico, where he was responsible in various marketing fields, including holding the title of Senior Director Marketing USA at Pepsico's Kentucky Fried Chicken division.

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Tricia Duryee
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