Rima Qureshi, former SVP and head of Ericsson’s North America unit, had already been replaced as the vendor’s lead for its partnership with Cisco prior to her departure in early May 2017.
Niklas Heuveldop (pictured) took over leadership of the partnership with Cisco in early April, an Ericsson company representative told Mobile World Live. While the date for the change was not specified, it likely took place when Ericsson implemented a new company structure on 1 April.
Heuveldop was appointed acting head of Ericsson’s North America division after Qureshi (pictured left) stepped down. The position adds to Heuveldop’s existing responsibilities as SVP, chief strategy officer, and head of technology and emerging business at Ericsson.
It is unclear if losing the lead of the Cisco partnership spurred Qureshi’s decision to leave Ericsson, or if the Sweden-based vendor was aware of her pending departure and acted swiftly to ensure continuity of leadership in the partnership.
In a recent earnings call, Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said the partnership with Cisco “has evolved over the last year and a half” since being announced in November 2015.
Ekholm said the companies “had some good traction in Q1 with a number of wins,” and the pair “will need to find the best way to leverage each other” moving forward.
Cisco, for its part, appeared unconcerned about the change in contact at Ericsson. A company representative told MWL that “core teams are still working closely together, determining added areas where we can partner”.
“Several leaders on both sides have been spearheading the partner dialogue with us over the last few quarters. We anticipate little disruption in our current relationship.”
To date, the companies have won more than 140 deals since forging the partnership, the Cisco representative said.