Ericsson fires CEO Hans Vestberg

Ericsson fires CEO Hans Vestberg
Vestberg has been removed as CEO with immediate effect.
Published: 25 July 2016 - 10:16 a.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Ericsson has fired CEO Hans Vestberg, in the face of poor stock market performance, increased competition and investigations into corrupt practices in key markets.

Vestberg, a 25-year veteran of Ericsson, has been stood down with immediate effect by the board of the company.

Ericsson's share price has declined in recent years, as the company faced increased competition from Nokia and Huawei, and a shrinking of opportunities for growth owing to the maturity of 4G/LTE deployment.

In June the company announced plans to cut up to 25,000 jobs, some 20% of its workforce, and following poor Q2 2016 results released earlier this month, the company announced it was seeking further cuts to operational expenditure of $1 billion, including reduced investment in R&D and a corporate restructure.

According to news agency Bloomberg, Ericsson is also being investigated by US authorities over alleged corruption in Asia and Europe, and was accused in news reports in Swedish media of inflating sales by booking revenue before some clients are invoiced, an allegation the company denied.

CFO Jan Frykhammar will act as temporary CEO until a replacement is found.

A statement from the company said: "In the current environment and as the company accelerates its strategy execution, the board of directors has decided that the time is right for a new leader to drive the next phase in Ericsson's development."

Share price rose 5% on the news of Vestberg's departure.

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