Deutsche Telekom hands brand strategy to Audi man

Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile, has appointed former Audi marketer Hans-Christian Schwingen to head a newly created brand strategy and marketing communications unit. It will oversee marketing across all of the company’s brands.

Schwingen, who has been Audi’s global head of marketing communications since 1999, joins Deutsche Telekom next month. He will be chairman of the marketing board and will report directly to chief executive Rene Obermann.

Deutsche Telekom says Schwingen will be responsible for the development of marketing communication “concepts”, as well as for brand strategy, brand management and marketing campaigns for all of the company’s brands.

It is expected that Schwingen’s main focus will be T-Mobile, which is Deutsche’s flagship brand, because it has not had a dedicated global marketer since chief marketing officer Ulli Gritzuhn left at the end of last year.

It is not known whether Gritzuhn, a former Wrigley marketer who replaced Nikesh Arora at T-Mobile at the end of 2004 (MW December 9, 2004), left without a job to go to.

A Deutsche Telekom spokeswoman says Obermann, who was previously T-Mobile’s chief executive, has been responsible for the brand’s marketing since Gritzuhn’s departure. She adds that it has still not been decided whether to replace Gritzuhn directly.

T-Mobile operates in ten markets across Europe and in the US. Deutsche Telekom also offers broadband and fixed line services across Europe under its T-Com brand. Local brands include Slovak Telecom, T-Online Austria and T-Online Switzerland.

Before joining Audi, Schwingen worked for US advertising agency Springer & Jacoby from 1990 to 1999, eventually becoming a unit managing director.

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