Ericsson has named a new head of North America after suddenly losing its former market lead in May. Niklas Heuveldop, who has been serving as chief strategy officer and head of technology and emerging business, has officially taken the top spot of the region.
Heuveldop already was serving as the acting head of the market since Rima Qureshi left 10 months after taking the reigns. Prior to Qureshi, Angel Ruiz served as CEO. Until further notice, Heuveldop will continue his two other executive roles in addition to leading the North American region, which comprises about 11,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada.
“Niklas has maximized his energy and time to put the customer first in North America for the past few months, as acting head of North America,” Börje Ekholm, Ericsson’s global president and CEO, said in a release. “Together, we decided that it made the most sense for our customers and our employees to make his role there permanent.”
“This market is incredibly exciting, with leading-edge innovation and outstanding scale,” Heuveldop said in the release. “We have successfully established unique partnerships with our customers in North America, allowing us to jointly pioneer new technologies across one of the most competitive markets in the world. I truly look forward continuing to partner with our customers as they accelerate their digital transformation on the path to 5G and new business opportunities in IoT, for example.”
Heuveldop, who joined Ericsson in 1993, became the head of the technology and emerging business unit in April. The unit combines corporate strategy and technology functions, research, business innovation, mergers and acquisitions, emerging business focused on the Internet of Things, and information technology. It also leads Ericsson’s digital transformation.
He previously served as Ericsson’s chief customer officer and head of group function sales, and in various international roles across the Americas and Europe including the AT&T global customer unit.
Heuveldop also led startups including WaterCove Networks, where he served as COO, and ServiceFactory, a management buyout from Swedish operator Telia at which he was CEO. WaterCove was acquired by Alcatel in 2003.
Ericsson has been focused on restructuring its global operation after global CEO stepped down in January 2016. The company announced a turnaround plan in March.