Fran Heeran has left his position as the head of Vodafone's cloud and automation initiatives to return to Nokia after a three-year absence.
A spokesman for Nokia said that Heeran has joined the company as the head of core services and care for Nokia Software. Heeran will be based in the U.K. and start his new job March 1.
Heeran brings in-depth knowledge of SDN, NFV and cloud-native to Nokia's software team as the vendor looks to compete against Ericsson and Huawei in the 5G space. Market Mettle first reported this morning that Heeran was leaving Vodafone.
Heeran was hired from Netcracker in July of 2017 as Vodafone's group head of network virtualization, SDN and NFV, but his title changed in June of last year to group head of cloud and automation at Vodafone, which reflected the importance that Vodafone is now placing on building out its telco cloud platform.
In a September interview with FierceTelecom, Heeran said that the industry needed to move on from network functions virtualization (NFV) by focusing instead on cloud-native implementations.
Prior to Vodafone, Heeran spent a little over a year at Netcracker where he last held the title of senior vice president and general manager of the vendor's SDN/NFV business.
Heeran spent almost five years at Alcatel-Lucent, where he held the title of senior vice president and general manager, communications and collaboration business. In early 2016, Nokia wrapped up its deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent. Heeran spent the next five months under the Nokia banner before joining Netcracker in May of 2016.