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Ericsson’s CEO steps down effective immediately as search for a new chief begins

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After spending a good seven years at Ericsson as CEO, Hans Vestberg is now stepping down as the company is changing its outlook towards battling the new and old mobile players in the market. The Swedish telecom giant has recently seen a slowdown in demand for its switches and mobile towers.

According to the press release, Vestberg has left any and all assignments at hand and stepped down from his role — effective immediately. His position has temporarily been filed in by Jan Frykhammar, until the company again finds the right man to spearhead it’s operations.

Also Frykhammar’s financial position will now be looked after by Carl Mellander, who’s been appointed as acting CFO.

Commenting on his time at the company and his departure, Vestberg says that,

I have had 28 fantastic years at Ericsson, the last seven as CEO. As the industry enters a next phase, driven by 5G, IoT and Cloud, it is time for a new CEO to step in and continue the work to ensure Ericsson’s industry leadership

Vestberg joined the Swedish telecom multinational straight out of college in 1991, and has worked his way up through the ranks at the company. After a dozen years of work and experience, he was added to the board of directors in 2003 which was followed by his promotion to CFO in 2007. He was later elected to head the company in 2009, and officially commended his term the following year.

Ericsson has tried to stay relevant and keep up with the changing trends in the field of communication and technology, but it has still been lagging behind some Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei. The company had seen a boom in business during the evolution and setup of 3G and 4G networks in each country, but the market for the same has since then been hit by economical turbulence.

Chinese manufacturers have however banked upon the opportunity by offering its services for cheap. The telecom and antenna scenario has changed a lot in recent years, and is expected to worsen with the adoption of latest technologies in developing countries.

During his time at Ericsson, Vestnerg had also inked a deal with Cisco Systems Inc., where the two companies agreed to join forces in fields like research and development.

Commenting on the departure of one of its most valuable employees, Leif Johansson, chairman of the board says that,

Hans Vestberg has led the company for seven years through significant industry and company transformation. Hans has been instrumental in building strong relationships with key customers around the world and his leadership and energy have been an inspiration to employees and leaders across Ericsson.

The company is now entering a phase of re-structing. It will now focus on reducing costs, while also laying emphasis on the adaptation of latest technologies. This strategy change, however, could also result in ramifications in the form of massive workforce lay-offs.


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