The Swedish publication Dagens Industri is reporting that Ericsson’s CEO Borje Ekholm will be replaced by outgoing Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe within six months.
Investor AB appears to be playing a big role in the executive shuffling. Investor AB is a Swedish investment company, which has been around since 1916. It is the biggest shareholder in both Ericsson and Saab, with 23% of the votes in the telecom company and nearly 40% in Saab, reports Reuters.
Ekholm, himself, was a former CEO of Investor AB. Ekholm took over as Ericsson CEO in January 2017 after the ouster of Hans Vestberg during a difficult time for the company when it was reporting dramatic drops in net sales and announcing mass layoffs.
An anonymous source for Dagens Industri said, “Borje has taken Ericsson out of the crisis and done it well. Now someone needs to come in and move things along.”
Asked for a comment on the rumors about Ekholm’s departure, an Ericsson spokesperson said in an email to FierceWireless, “The executive team is fully focused on implementing our focused strategy and building a stronger Ericsson in the long term. Ericsson declines to comments on rumors and speculations.”
Ericsson’s fortunes have improved under Ekholm. In its most recent earnings call with investors Ekholm said, “We see strong momentum in our 5G business with both new contracts and new commercial launches as well as live networks."
Ericsson has publicly announced 23 5G contracts around the world. That includes Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and GCI in the United States.
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Just a couple of weeks ago, Hakan Buskhe informed Saab that he is leaving his position of president and CEO by February 2020. This timing would make him available for a new gig at Ericsson, if the rumors turn out to be true.