Sony Ericsson North America chief resigns

Sony Ericsson USA President Najmi Jarwala is resigning from the company, just days after the troubled joint venture issued a profit warning for the first quarter.

Jarwala, who heads up the handset maker's North America region, will leave the company at the end of March to pursue other career opportunities. Anders Runevad, executive vice president of Sony Ericsson and the head of global sales and marketing, will take over his duties beginning April 1. The company said an announcement on Jarwala's successor would come in due course. 

The joint venture between Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson has been beset by problems recently. The company issued a profit warning this past Friday, saying that it expects its first quarter net sales and net income before taxes to be hit by weakening demand and is predicting a first quarter loss of $464.9 million to $533.2 million.

Ericsson recently denied reports that it was considering splitting from the joint venture. The company posted a $246 million loss for the fourth quarter, down from a profit of $495 million in the year-ago period.   

Jarwala was brought on four years ago to shore up Sony Ericsson's North America operations. The company's presence in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina increased dramatically, as the the handset maker added hundreds of employees as sales of the company's Walkman handsets jumped. However, the company cut 450 jobs at the facility last fall as part of a company-wide restructuring.   

For more:
- see this release
- see this article

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