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Head of Ericsson North America Exits Within a Year of New Post

The Plano-based regional headquarters had a sudden change in leadership, losing market lead Rima Qureshi.
By Danielle Abril |
Ericsson's global headquarters is based in Stockholm, Sweden. It's regional headquarters is in Plano.
Ericsson's global headquarters is based in Stockholm, Sweden. It's regional headquarters is in Plano.
Ericsson’s global headquarters is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Its regional headquarters is in Plano.

Plano-based Ericsson North America is swapping out its top post for the second time in a year. Rima Qureshi, who took over leadership from Angel Ruiz in July of last year, left the company on Thursday.

Ericsson said the market head and senior vice president was leaving to pursue “another opportunity in the industry.” It appointed Niklas Hueveldop, chief strategy officer, senior vice president, and head of technology and emerging business, as the acting head for the market area. The company also has launched a recruitment effort to name Qureshi’s successor.

“I am pleased that Niklas can immediately step in as acting head of the market area,” Börje Ekholm, Ericsson global president and CEO, said in a release. “He has strong customer relationships and long experience after holding several senior positions on the regional team. Rima has been an appreciated member of our team for many years. We wish her the best in her new position.”

The move seems to have happened abruptly. D CEO reached out to Ericsson back in July to arrange an interview with Qureshi. After months of back and forth, a spokesperson for the North American region sent us a response on Wednesday, a day before Qureshi quit, suggesting an interview was coming. The reason the interview had taken so long to arrange, she suggested, was because Qureshi “has been extremely busy running the business.”

Qureshi has served Ericsson since 1992. In an interview with Karl Moore, associate professor of strategy and organization at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, she said that her main concern for Ericsson was speed, according to the Financial Post. “Can we move fast enough? Can we remain ahead of the technology disruption? As the ground shifts underneath us, can we be fast enough and can we jump onto the next ledge before the one that we’re on disintegrates? … And then, to create an organization that accepts change, that welcomes change, that understand that that is the way of life,” the Post reported.

The news of Qureshi’s departure comes as Ericsson has been restructuring its global operation. Ekholm took over as CEO in January 2016, about five months after Hans Vestberg stepped down. Vestberg served the company for 28 years, seven of them as CEO.

Ericsson has been working to execute a turnaround plan it announced in March. The plan, it said, will book up to $2.4 billion in charges.

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