Exclusive: Former CenturyLink Cloud Guru Lands at Ericsson

December 3, 2015, 11:47 AM UTC

Jonathan King, who drove much of CenturyLink’s cloud computing strategy for the past three years, is now head of cloud strategy at Ericsson, a huge provider of telcom gear and wireless technology.

Speaking with Fortune on his first day on the new job, King said he was happy to be working again with Jason Hoffman, the founder and former chief technology officer of Joyent, who joined Ericsson (ERIC) as vice president of corporate strategy two years ago.

“I joined CenturyLink from Joyent where I worked with Jason and am excited to join him again,” he said.

Earlier this week, Fortune reported that King and Jared Wray, another top cloud exec, were leaving CenturyLink (CTL) in Monroe, Louisiana.

In his new gig, King will direct product strategy, business development and mergers and acquisitions. He’s definitely done it before. At CenturyLink, which started life as a telephone company, he managed the acquisitions of AppFog, Tier 3, and Orchestrate—all key parts of that company’s cloud push.

Ericsson was founded in 1878 by Lars Magnus Ericsson as a telegraph repair shop, which subsequently morphed into a telephone company. Now Ericsson’s gear runs much of the world’s mobile networks. It does business in more than 180 countries, and generates annual revenue of nearly $28 billion.

And, like every other company in the world, Ericsson is navigating a tricky transition to cloud computing, where more workloads run in what are called public clouds—huge arrays of computers, storage, and networking that are rented out to paying customers. More businesses are using these shared resources at Amazon (AMZN) Web Services or Microsoft (MSFT) Azure, instead of building more of their own data centers.

Towards that end, Ericsson invested in Apcera, which offers what it calls an enterprise cloud development platform and more recently inked a pact with Cisco Systems (CSCO)


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