Ericsson CEO Out, Search for New Leader Begins

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After poor results in the recent stock market and an aim to cut costs, Ericsson’s board has let Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg go.

Reuters reported that Vestberg had been questioned in recent media reports regarding his leadership and pay, including “use of a corporate jet to sports events and for taking on the role as chair of Sweden’s Olympic Committee (SOC) at a time when Ericsson was slashing costs and rejigging strategy.” 

Chairman Leif Johansson said in a press conference that the company is looking for someone with a good technology background and leadership skills. Shareholders and the board, who voted unanimously to oust Vestberg, are looking for internal and external candidates in their search. Chief Financial Officer Jan Frykhammar has been named Ericsson’s acting chief executive while the company searches for a successor to Vestberg, who had been CEO since 2010, according to Reuters. Ericsson told Reuters that Frykhammar does not want the role to be permanent.

Last week, Ericsson announced “like-for-like sales had declined for a seventh consecutive quarter, and the past quarter was the fourth in a row where either operating profit or sales or both fell below analyst forecasts,” Reuters noted. Shares have fallen 47 percent since last April.

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