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July 25, 2016

Comings & Goings: Vestberg Steps Down as Ericsson CEO

Ericsson, a company that has been called a “telecom infrastructure giant,” has risen to prominence among its peers and has been a leading company in the telecommunications industry for some time. Now it will experience some C-level changes.

Hans Vestberg, the CEO and president of Ericsson as well as a member of its board of directors, announced this week that he would step down as the head of the company. In the meantime, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jan Frykhammar will take the helm until the existing leadership can find a permanent replacement for Vestberg. His comments about the matter make the situation sound amicable and in the best interest of Ericsson as it continues to innovate in its field.

“I have had 28 fantastic years at Ericsson, the last seven as CEO,” Vestberg said. “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.”

Part of that future is reflected in the piece noted above. The article explains that Ericsson has been working hard to bolster its joint efforts with Cisco, which recently updated its Dynamic Service Manager, and has begun to offer new services that will help its business clients better use Amazon Web Services. Moreover, Ericsson has launched a number of hardware and software updates to its Radio System that will now be able to use a larger range of the frequency spectrum to manage communications.

Ericsson also appears to have grasp of a number of hardware and software developments that will allow it to support 5G wireless and the subsequent transmission of mobile data at 1 Gbps or higher.

Its Board Chairman Leif Johansson noted that it was the decision of the entire board to replace Vestberg. Johansson spoke highly of Vestberg and the fruits of his time as CEO. The chairman, however, spoke about how the board wants to develop a new structure to the company that will help it save costs and better react to market conditions.

Frykhammer, according to Johansson, will not seek the position as permanent CEO. Instead, he will use his experience as a financial company leader and financial officer to hold Ericsson together in the interim period. Carl Mellander, a company vice president, will take over Frykhammer’s duties as CFO until the lead position has been filled.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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