Ericsson chairman announces resignation

Ericsson chairman Michael Treschow informed the Swedish telecommunications firm on Monday that he will resign from his post next year or in 2012, the company announced in a statement.

Ericsson chairman announces resignation

Treschow was appointed chairman of Ericsson in March 2002. One of his first measures was to initiate and successfully accomplish a rights offering of 30 billion kronor ($4.3 billion).

“When I joined, 1 billion people had access to a mobile phone. Today, more than five billion of the world’s population has access to mobile communications,” Treschow said in a statement on Monday.

Treschow was appointed chairman of Ericsson in March 2002. During his term, he appointed two CEOs: Carl-Henric Svanberg, who served from 2003 to 2009 before becoming chairman of embattled oil giant BP, and current CEO Hans Vestberg.

One of Treschow’s first measures as chairman was to initiate and successfully accomplish a rights offering of 30 billion kronor ($4.3 billion).

Under his stewardship, Ericsson has strengthened its financial position and played an active role in the industry consolidation. He successfully negotiated the acquisitions of fixed infrastructure firm Marconi, edge router specialist Redback Networks, Tandberg Television and Nortel’s CDMA, LTE and GSM assets.

Ericsson reported turnover of 206 billion kronor in 2009 and 88,000 employees in more than 175 countries. The company claims a market share of 40 percent for mobile infrastructure and a leading position in the fragmented services, with a 10 percent market share.

“Ericsson and the industry are now in the initial phase of rolling out mobile broadband. Today, less than 400 million people have mobile broadband and in 2015, Ericsson expects more than 3.4 billion people to have mobile broadband,” said Treschow.

“It is an exciting future ahead for Ericsson, but taking into account its strong market and financial position, it is now the right time to hand over to a successor after nine years in this position,” he added.

Two billion phone users are dependent on Ericsson’s network support on a daily basis. At the end of last year, Ericsson had a net cash position of 36.1 billion kronor.

Treschow is also chairman of Anglo-Dutch consumer products maker Unilever and previously served as chairman at Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux from 2004-2007.

From 1997 to 2002 he was president and CEO of Electrolux and from 1991 to 1997 and held the same positions at Swedish industrial tooling and equipment maker Atlas Copco.

Ericsson’s nomination committee, appointed by the largest owners, will propose a new chairman at the company’s annual meeting next year or in 2012.

Following Monday’s news, Ericsson saw its share price drop 1.14 percent in early afternoon trading on the Stockholm stock exchange, which was down 0.42 percent.

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Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.