Ericsson hit by departure of North America, Cisco partnership lead

The executive in charge of Ericsson’s partnership with Cisco has dramatically quit to “pursue another opportunity in the industry”, the Sweden-based vendor has revealed.

Rima Qureshi (above), who has been with Ericsson since 1992, left her position as Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area North America on 11 May.

She was a key figure in negotiating the partnership with Cisco, which was signed in November 2015 and aims to generate $1 billion in new revenues.

Ericsson and Cisco won a contract to supply and install IP routers for Brazil’s Nextel last month as the number of joint deals continue to tick over.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, however, Qureshi told European Communications that the two companies were working on ironing out several difficulties associated with the partnership, including “confusion” caused by overlapping portfolios.

Ericsson said a recruitment process to replace her was underway, with Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology & Emerging Business Niklas Heuveldop stepping into her role on an interim basis.

Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said: “Rima has been an appreciated member of our team for many years. We wish her the best in her new position.”

He added: "We will continue our work to bring the latest technology and competitive solutions to our customers in North America.

“It is an exciting region with some of the worlds most advanced operators and demanding requirements.

“We remain firmly committed to being their partner on the road to 5G."

Ekholm described his company's latest financial performance as “unsatisfactory” as it saw sales and profits tumble in the first three months of they year.

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