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Sony Ericsson's U.S. leader to depart

Najmi Jarwala will leave just as the handset maker gets set to post huge losses amid falling demand for its phones.

The U.S. market has been a struggle for Sony Ericsson's well-reviewed but expensive smartphones, such as the Xperia X1. CNET Networks

Sony Ericsson's struggling handset business is losing its top North American executive.

Najmi Jarwala, president of Sony Ericsson USA and head of the company's North American operations, is leaving Sony Ericsson "to pursue other career opportunities," the company said in a statement Monday. Last week Sony Ericsson revealed that it expects to lose between $460 million and $528 million during the first quarter of the year, as demand falls for its phones.

Sony Ericsson has had some success in the U.S. with its Cybershot and Walkman phones, but hasn't come up with a major breakthrough in the U.S. and continues to emphasize the entertainment capabilities of its lower-end feature phones through carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile, rather than its smartphones. For example, Sony Ericsson's Windows Mobile-based Xperia X1 has received positive reviews but no U.S. carrier offers the phone, which means it costs a prohibitively expensive $799.99 in this country.

The company plans to announce a replacement for Jarwala "in due course."