Hans Vestberg forced out as Ericsson CEO, Jan Frykhammar now acting boss

Ericsson’s Board of Directors have today – July 25, 2016 – announced that Hans Vestberg ‘steps down’ as President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Ericsson with immediate effect, and directed that Jan Frykhammar, currently Executive VP and CFO, assume the CEO position on an interim basis until a new CEO is identified and appointed.

Chairman of the Board Leif Johansson said: “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. However, 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.”

(TOP: Hans Vestberg who’s been eased out of his CEO position by the Ericsson board and replaced by the CFO, Jan Frykhammar. Photo: YouTube).

Hans Vestberg says: “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.”

In conjunction to presenting its earnings report for the second quarter on July 19, the company presented a strong action plan to significantly reduce cost and adapt to the current market environment.

“As stated in the report the Board fully supports the cost reduction plans. In addition, the Board supports the company business strategy and new company structure,” Johansson continued.

Effective immediately Jan Frykhammar, the Executive VP and CFO, steps into the position as President and CEO until the now initiated recruitment search has been concluded.

Both internal and external candidates will be considered for the CEO position as is customary by the Swedish-based firm.

Jan Frykhammar joined Ericsson 1991, and has held various positions in finance and business control. In 2009, Frykhammar became Executive Vice President, CFO and Head of Group Function Finance, and before that he was Head of Business Unit Global Services. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Johansson said: “Jan has made it clear that he is not aspiring to permanently take on the CEO role. However, I am very pleased that he has accepted this assignment. Jan will secure continued strong execution and leadership in the current situation.”

Carl Mellander, currently VP & Group Treasurer, takes over as acting CFO with immediate effect, taking the place of Frykhammar.

Hans Vestberg will be available to support the Board and management during his term of notice of six months, according to a statement issued by the firm.


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