Ronnie Leten to replace Leif Johansson as Ericsson Chairman

Ronnie Leten to replace Leif Johansson as Ericsson Chairman

Swedish telecoms giant, Ericsson has proposed Ronnie Leten, as its new chairman, in a bid to revive the company’s fortunes. Leten was the former boss of mining gear maker Atlas Copco.

Upon shareholder approval, he will replace Leif Johansson who confirmed in July he would step down, Reuters report.

Ericsson has been hit hard by competition from China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia as well as weak emerging markets and falling spending by telecoms operators, with demand for next-generation 5G technology still years away. Its shares have almost halved in value in the past two years.

“Mr Leten is a very skilled businessman, technically savvy and strategically versatile,” Johan Forssell, chairman of Ericsson’s nomination committee, said in a statement.

Ronnie Leten, a 60-year old Belgian, stepped down as CEO of Sweden’s Atlas Copco earlier this year. While at Atlas Copco, the company shares rose 326 percent, twice as much as the European industrial sector index, with investors applauding its nimble cost structure and strong aftermarket sales that drove high margins and a robust cashflow.

Ronnie Leten is also leaving his position as chairman at Electrolux, the home appliance maker said in a separate statement on Monday.

Ericsson drafted in new a CEO, Borje Ekholm, earlier this year, but corporate activist investor Cevian Capital, which has bought a more than 5-percent stake, has been pushing for further change.

About Ericsson

It is global leader in delivering ICT solutions with about 40% of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks, according to the company. It says it boasts of customers in over 180 countries and comprehensive industry solutions ranging from Cloud services and Mobile Broadband to Network Design and Optimization.

Its services, software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – are enabling the communications industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve user experience and capture new opportunities.

Ericsson has one of the industry’s strongest patent portfolios with a total count of over 42,000 granted patents. R&D is at the heart of our business and approximately 23,700 employees are dedicated to our R&D activities. This commitment to R&D allows us to drive forward our vision for a Networked Society – one where everyone and everything is connected in real time – enabling new ways to collaborate, share and get informed.