Sony Ericsson's U.S. Head Leaves - InformationWeek

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3/23/2009
02:29 PM
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Sony Ericsson's U.S. Head Leaves

The move comes as the cell phone manufacturer is facing dramatically decreased phone shipments as U.S. customers gravitate to the iPhone 3G and BlackBerrys.

Sony Ericsson's management is getting a shakeup, as its head of U.S. operations is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Najmi Jarwala, who is also head of North America operations, will leave the company at the end of the month and be replaced on an interim basis by executive VP Anders Runevad.

"Under Najimi's leadership we have redefined our North American strategy, built operational excellence, and strengthened our total presence considerably in this very important market," said Dick Komiyama, president of Sony Ericsson, in a statement. "We are sad to see him leave Sony Ericsson after more than three successful years, but at the same time we wish him all the best for his future."

The move comes as all cell phone manufacturers are bracing for a decline in the mobile market because of the global economic slowdown. Sony Ericsson has been especially hard hit, and it recently said it's expecting a massive loss next quarter because of plunging demand. These losses are leading to reports that Ericsson may want out of the mobile phone joint venture.

The company hasn't been able to gain much traction in the high-end smartphone market in the United States, as consumers are gravitating to the likes of Apple's iPhone 3G, Research In Motion's BlackBerrys, and HTC's "Touch" line of smartphones. Its position wasn't helped when no U.S. carrier picked up its latest flagship device, and the Windows Mobile-powered Xperia X1, launched unlocked with a hefty $800 price tag.

Sony Ericsson will look to entertainment to help it mount a comeback, as it unveiled a host of services that will bring full-length movies, games, and music to handsets. It will also bring high-end camera phones to the U.S. market to enable consumers to upload photos on the go to sites like Flickr and Facebook.


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