Ericsson appoints CFO Vestberg to top job

Natalie Apostolou
26 Jun 2009

Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg is leaving the helm of the Swedish vendor after six years to take on the oil sector as chairman of BP.

Ericsson CFO and executive vice-president Hans Vestberg has been named as his successor, taking control as president and CEO from January 1.

Svanberg joined Ericsson at a tumultuous time after enduring seven quarters of straight losses and its fourth CEO in five years.

He was credited for turning the company around after a radical restructure but recently was forced to cut more than half its 105,000-strong workforce and sell 30 billion kronor ($3.8 billion) of stock to cover debt.

Svanberg will remain in his position until year-end when he takes on his new assignment as chairman and will remain on the Ericsson board. The board and key investors have expressed their wish to see him remain a member of the Ericsson board long-term.

Incoming CEO Vestberg, 44, is an 18-year veteran of the company and has held various international managerial positions in China, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and the US.

During 1998 and 2000 he was CFO of Ericsson in Brazil, followed by North America and Ericsson\'s controller for the Americas.

From 2002 to 2003 Vestberg served as President of Ericsson in Mexico. He became Senior Vice President and head of business unit Global Services in 2003 and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2005. Vestberg was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2007.

"Vestberg has a broad international experience through assignments for more than ten years in three continents, and will lead Ericsson in a phase where the transformation of telecom operators\' networks and implementation of IP-based services are crucial in order to continue the company\'s successful creation of shareholder value," Ericsson chairman Michael Treschow said.

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