Sony Ericsson names new sales chief

Sony Ericsson named a new head of global sales and marketing, who will take over beginning in April, just as the company's first phone running Google's Android platform hits the market.

Kirstian Tear Sony EricssonThe struggling handset maker said Kristian Tear, currently the head of Sony Ericsson's Western Europe region and of global customer accounts, will replace Anders Runevad, effective April 1. Runevad, who has been leading the company's sales team for the past three years, will return to parent company Ericsson.

Tear joined Sony Ericsson in 2005 after coming over from Ericsson. His successor has not yet been named. Tear will have his work cut out for him as he works with Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg to try and turn the firm's sluggish sales around. In the fourth quarter, Sony Ericsson reported its sixth straight quarterly loss. The company shipped 14.6 million units, down from 24.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, and its market share was 5 percent, the same as in the third quarter, but down from 8 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Sony Ericsson also confirmed that its first Android phone, which will begin shipping through NTT DoCoMo and other operators in April, will be upgraded to the latest version of Android sometime after it launches. The phone, which runs on a custom user interface, will have Android 1.6 on it when it ships.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Sony Ericsson blog post

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