Ericsson shareholders reportedly looking to oust CEO Vestberg

Ericsson's (NASDAQ: ERIC) two largest shareholders are reportedly pushing to oust CEO Hans Vestberg just one day after the company posted a 26 percent year-over-year drop in net sales during the second quarter.

hans vestberg


The firms, Investor and Industrivarden, have yet to force Vestberg out because they have yet to find a suitable replacement, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri reported. The firms had reportedly been split on Vestberg's tenure but came to agreement following the latest earnings report.

Both firms declined to comment to the news outlet regarding any search for a new Ericsson chief.

The Swedish telecom gear vendor posted a net quarterly profit of $186 million, down from $240 million during the year-ago period. Sales fell to $6.3 billion, missing analysts' predictions of roughly $6.44 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Ericsson suffered through a rough first quarter as well, posting a 2 percent year-over-year decline in net sales due largely to a "continued weak macro-economic environment."

Vestberg told FierceWireless this week that Ericsson would continue to slash expenses as part of a plan it announced in 2014. The company has eliminated roughly 30,000 as part of that plan in the last eight quarters, he said, and more cuts are in the works in the U.S. and around the world.

Ericsson continues to struggle as carriers in mature mobile markets have largely completed LTE buildouts and are preparing to invest in 5G over the next several years.

When asked by FierceWireless whether he may be facing pressure to step down, Vestberg said his fate at Ericsson isn't his top priority.

"I can understand there are people having debates," Vestberg said when asked whether he'll be able to remain at the helm. "More important for me is to focus on the company.... I'm focused on executing."

For more:
- see this Dagens Industri report (in Swedish)

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