Verizon gets another Ericsson executive as Rima Qureshi named chief strategy officer

Rima Qureshi
Rima Qureshi is a former Ericsson executive.

Another former Ericsson executive is taking a leadership role at Verizon, with the operator naming Rima Qureshi as its new SVP and chief strategy officer, reporting to Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

Qureshi will take over “responsibility for development and implementation of Verizon's overall corporate strategy, including business development and strategic investments,” the operator said in a release. Qureshi is succeeding Verizon’s Roy Chestnutt, who previously announced plans to pursue interests outside Verizon and will depart by the end of the year.

"The addition of Rima is another game-changer for Verizon. She's a visionary leader, with a global perspective and a thorough understanding of our industry and where it's headed,” McAdam said in a release from the carrier.

Ericsson announced in May that Qureshi, the company’s SVP and North American chief, was leaving the company. Qureshi had been with Ericsson since 1993, starting in R&D before rising to the position of SVP of Ericsson's CDMA Mobile Systems Group in 2010. She became president and CEO of Ericsson North America in 2016.

Qureshi left Ericsson amid a major corporate overhaul headed by CEO Börje Ekholm, who himself joined the company in January. And it appears that Ericsson’s struggles may continue; Ericsson is reportedly considering slashing 25,000 jobs outside its native Sweden as part of its ongoing effort to cut costs.

However, Ericsson recently filled Qureshi’s vacancy; the company appointed Niklas Heuveldop, who was previously serving in an interim capacity, as the permanent head of Ericsson’s North American business.

Qureshi is the second major Ericsson employee to join Verizon. Hans Vestberg, Ericsson’s former CEO, joined Verizon in May as the company’s EVP for its new Network and Technology team, reporting to McAdam.

Further, Qureshi and Vestberg aren’t the only new faces at Verizon. The operator named Ronan Dunne as its new wireless CEO last year. The former chief of O2 in the United Kingdom, Dunne recently made one of his first major public appearances as Verizon’s wireless chief last week at the Mobile World Congress Americas trade show in San Francisco, where he called for more education in order to address the digital divide.