Sue Spradley, the head of North American operations for Nokia Siemens Networks, is leaving the company and will be replaced by Rick Corker, the head of NSN's Asia-Pacific region. Her departure comes as Nokia Siemens works to solidify its position in North America by closing its $1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola Solutions' (NYSE:MSI) wireless networking business.
Spradley, who has been with Nokia Siemens for nearly four years, will be leaving NSN to pursue other opportunities outside the company, but will remain as a non-executive advisor. Corker will be based in Dallas and will take over April 15.
"We have had some great wins and some very tough losses when it comes to capturing the North American business," Spradley wrote in a letter to employees. "It is time now that a new leader takes on the challenge--and privilege--of leading NSN in North America to the next stage; I leave with great pride, knowing that the team we've built together is ready for the next level of success."
During Spradley's tenure, she tried to expand NSN's customer base and give it leverage as LTE deployments expanded--with varying degrees of success. Nokia Siemens lost out to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) in an auction for Nortel Networks' CDMA and LTE assets, which Ericsson scooped up for $1.13 billion.
Nokia Siemens is hoping to boost its presence in North America through the Motorola deal, which has yet to close. Both Nokia Siemens and Motorola said in March that the closing of the deal, which was first announced in July, had been postponed again, pending review by the Chinese regulators. A Nokia Siemens spokeswoman, Carol Dematteo, said Spradley's departure was not related to the status of the Motorola deal.
NSN counts T-Mobile USA, LightSquared and others as customers in North America.
According to research firm Dell'Oro Group, in the fourth quarter Ericsson led the global infrastructure market with 36.9 percent market share, while NSN followed with 21.4 percent and Huawei had 17.9 percent of the market.
Corker, an Australian, will try and help close the Motorola deal and continue to grow NSN's presence in North America. He headed up Nokia Networks' Cellular Transmission business development in the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Spradley praised Corker in her letter as someone who "has helped build the business with large, hard-to-please customers with high expectations, such as those in Japan and Korea. That experience will serve him well in North America as you all continue to pursue strategic partnerships, to establish NSN in new market areas, and to grow."
- see this release
Sue Spradley - Top Women in Wireless
Nokia Siemens' $1.2B Motorola acquisition put on ice, again
Huawei wins round of legal wrangling over Motorola-NSN deal
NSN hopes to close Motorola deal in Q1, reassures Huawei on IP
NSN snags Motorola's wireless networks unit for $1.2B