Ericsson’s head of North America region departs

The company said a recruitment process has been initiated to appoint a successor to Rima Qureshi.

Ericsson announced that Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of Market Area North America, has decided to leave the company, with her departure effective today.

Rima Qureshi
Rima Qureshi

There’s no word on where Qureshi is headed next. A press release said she is leaving “to pursue another opportunity in the industry.” She’s been with Ericsson since 1993.

Niklas Heuveldop, who currently holds the titles of senior vice president, chief strategy officer and head of Technology & Emerging Business, has been appointed acting head of Market Area North America. Ericsson said a recruitment process has been initiated to appoint a permanent successor.

Börje Ekholm, who himself joined the company in January as its new president and CEO, said in a statement, “We will continue our work to bring the latest technology and competitive solutions to our customers in North America. It is an exciting region with some of the worlds most advanced operators and demanding requirements. We remain firmly committed to being their partner on the road to 5G."

"I am pleased that Niklas can immediately step in as acting Head of the Market Area. He has strong customer relationships and long experience after holding several senior positions on the regional team,” Ekholm added. “Rima has been an appreciated member of our team for many years. We wish her the best in her new position".

Prior to joining Ericsson, Qureshi, who is based in Montreal, worked for six years as an IT consultant in various public and private enterprises. Her career at Ericsson started in R&D and spanned leadership roles in product management, sales and services. In addition to serving as head of a business unit, she successfully managed acquisitions including Nortel Carrier Networks.

Ericsson is in the midst of executing a turnaround plan it unveiled in March to streamline its operations by combining products and services and upping its investments in both R&D and “services capabilities” in several core areas.

As part its restructure, the company plans to shift its internet of things (IoT) strategy from a systems integration-led approach to a platform- and solutions-led strategy to better leverage its global scale and industry expertise.

Ekholm has recognized Ericsson’s challenges on both the technology and market leadership fronts and said he is confident the new strategy will be successful. He replaced Hans Vestberg, who was ousted last year and is now EVP and president of Network & Technology at Verizon, where he reports directly to CEO Lowell McAdam.

Ericsson’s networks business, which makes up about three-fourths of its overall business, delivered solid results in the first quarter despite lower sales, but losses piled up in IT, cloud and media. IT and cloud remains a strategic area for Ericsson as its customers invest in network architectures based on software.