Ericsson chairman Michael Treschow, will step down from the board in 2011 or 2012, after nine years at the helm the company announced today.
The 67-year-old Swedish businessman said it was “the right time to hand over to a successor,” with the firm in a strong financial position and having driven industry consolidation.
Treschow steered the firm through the downturn that following the bursting of the telecom and tech bubbles, leaving it with net cash of 36.1 billion Swedish kronor (€4 billion) at end-2009, and sales of 206 billion kronor.
The company has 40% of the mobile network market and 10% of the managed services market.
During his tenure, Treschow also appointed two CEOs – Carl-Henric Svanberg in 2003 and Hans Vestberg in 2009 – and oversaw the acquisitions of Marconi’s fixed infrastructure business, Redback (Edge routers), Tandberg Television and Nortel's CDMA, LTE and GSM assets.
Treschow is also chairman of Unilever, a director of engineering firm ABB, and a former CEO and chairman of Swedish appliance group Electrolux.
The Ericsson board nomination committee, which is appointed by the biggest shareholders, will vote on a new chairman at the AGM in 2011 or 2012.
Jacob Wallenberg, chairman of Swedish investment firm Investor AB – Ericsson’s largest shareholder – chairs the nomination committee.
Ericsson’s Nasdaq stock in the past 12 months has risen from a low of $8.94 (€6.74) last December to a peak of $12.39. It closed at $10.96 on Friday.