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Ericsson Promotes Regional Chiefs

New Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg added two key regional executives to his top team Monday and unveiled a new regional structure as he continues to make his mark on the Swedish giant.

Vestberg, who took the reins at Ericsson on January 1 this year, has appointed Mats H. Olsson, head of China and Northeast Asia, and Angel Ruiz, head of North America, to his Executive Leadership Team. (See Ericsson Names New CEO.)

Olsson and Ruiz are retaining their current positions as heads of China and North America but will now also be part of Ericsson's executive elite.

The new CEO has been busy building his executive team since he took over. Last month, he filled two key positions with the appointments of Magnus Mandersson as head of global services and Rima Qureshi as head of CDMA mobile systems, both of whom are members of the Executive Leadership Team as well. (See New Names Join Ericsson's Top Team, Ericsson Names New CEO, Ericsson's Services Head Eyes More Growth, and Ericsson's New Numbers Man.)

Today's move signifies just how important the Chinese and North American markets are to Ericsson.

In China, Ericsson has GPON deployments with all three network operators in the country -- China Mobile Communications Corp. , China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) -- and is also participating in mobile broadband rollouts. (See Ericsson Scores GPON Wins in China, China Set for DSL, FTTH Boom, and China 3G Update: App Stores & iPhones.)

In North America, Ericsson boosted its presence significantly during 2009 through the acquisition of Nortel Networks Ltd. 's CDMA and GSM businesses, along with some Long Term Evolution (LTE) R&D assets; a key LTE contract at Verizon Wireless ; and a major managed services contract with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), which added 6,000 employees to Ericsson in one fell swoop. Ericsson's North American workforce tripled to 14,000 employees in 2009, and the region accounted for 12 percent of the company's total full year revenues of 206.5 billion Swedish kronor (US$27.6 billion). (See Ericsson Buys Nortel's GSM Biz Too, Nortel Wireless Winner: It's Ericsson!, Ericsson, Sprint in $5B Managed Services Deal, and MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors.)

Ericsson's regional revamp
Ericsson's Vestberg also announced a new regional structure for the company today, which involves streamlining 23 market units into 10 regions. The reorganization will take effect April 1.

"By reducing the number of market units and creating regions, we will increase customer focus as well as enabling stronger regional, and ultimately also global strategies," Vestberg said in a statement.

The new regions and the executives who will head up the regional businesses are as follows:

  • North America: Angel Ruiz (currently in same position)
  • Latin America: Sergio Quirog da Cunha (currently head of South America market unit)
  • Mediterranean: Nunzio Mirtillo (currently head of business operations within South East Europe market unit)
  • Western & Central Europe: Anders Runevad (currently head of sales at Sony Ericsson)
  • Northern Europe & Central Asia: Mats Granryd (currently head of North Western Europe market unit)
  • Middle East: Anders Lindblad (currently head of Turkey & Israel market unit)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Lars Lindén (currently in same position)
  • India: Gowton Achaibar (currently head of India & Sri Lanka market unit)
  • South East Asia and Oceania: Arun Bansal (currently Ericsson Indonesia country manager)
  • China & North East Asia: Mats H Olsson (currently head of Greater China market unit)


— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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