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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Bleeding magenta, T-Mobile marketing boss out

The big overhaul underway at T-Mobile USA has led to the departure of one of its top executives.

Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman is leaving after 17 years at the company, dating back to when it was still Western Wireless and VoiceStream. In a statement, the company said Brodman “has decided to retire at the end of May.”

Via email, Brodman said it was a personal decision and “absolutely voluntary.”

“After 17 years, it was time to get a break from the frenetic pace of the category and enjoy time with family,” he wrote. “I will start thinking about what I’d like to do next from a career perspective later in the year.”

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Brodman’s departure comes amid T-Mobile’s effort to regain its footing after being in limbo during AT&T’s takeover attempt last year. The company’s trying to rebrand itself as a more aggressive carrier as it begins spending $4 billion to upgrade its network to 4G LTE technology. It’s also consolidating its call centers and cutting 3,300 support jobs.

In the meantime, the company’s struggling to keep customers. It lost 526,000 customers in the fourth quarter holiday selling season, compared to 23,000 it lost in the same period of 2010, according to its latest earnings report. T-Mobile blamed the losses on “intense competitive pressure” from the iPhone 4S launching on its three larger competitors’ networks.

Customer churn also increased during the quarter, when T-Mobile’s sales and service revenue fell 3.6 percent.

Brodman, 46, was the Bellevue company’s chief technology and innovation officer when the company moved to its current HSPA+ network technology and helped Google develop and launch the Android platform.

In late 2010 Brodman moved from the technical side to marketing, where he oversaw the new re-branding and marketing campaign that began last month.

The University of Texas alum will remain a “strategic advisor” to the company. While a replacement is sought, Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing, will serve as interim chief marketing officer.

Brodman, meanwhile, plans to spend time helping Cancer for College, a charity helping college students stricken with cancer. He’s joining the board of the group, which was started by Craig Pollard, brother of former VoiceStream technology executive Julie Kelly.

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