Ericsson loses head of Cisco partnership Rima Qureshi

Rima Qureshi, former Head of Ericsson North America and Chief Strategy Officer, has left the company to pursue another unspecified opportunity in the industry.

As North America boss part of Qureshi’s responsibilities was overseeing the partnership with Cisco. Despite protestations to the contrary from both companies it has been hard to view that partnership as especially fruitful, so maybe there is a degree of scapegoating behind this move. Qureshi was relieved of CSO role last July, around the time Vestberg was escorted from the building, so there could be a degree of ‘changing of the guard’ to this too.

Qureshi had been at Ericsson since 1993 but the company has decided to replace her with another lifer – Niklas Heuveldop – who coincidentally has also been on board for 24 years. He was also the person given the CSO gig after Qureshi was moved to North America and also heads up emerging technology so he’s going to be a busy man.

“I am pleased that Niklas can immediately step in as acting Head of the Market Area,” said Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm. “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.”

That’s hardly the most touching send off for someone who has devoted most of her professional life to the company, so maybe there just wasn’t a good personality fit. Most likely, however, given the constant state of crisis and belt-tightening Ericsson finds itself in, is that Qureshi had just had enough and decided it was time to try something new. You never know, maybe she’s joining her old boss at Verizon.

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