Sony Ericsson taps Nordberg as new chief

Sony Ericsson President and CEO Dick Komiyama will step down from the struggling handset maker and will be replaced by Bert Nordberg, the head of Ericsson's Silicon Valley unit. Nordberg promised to return Sony Ericsson--the world's fifth largest cell phone maker--to profitability via a focus on market share and smartphones.

Beginning Sept. 1, Nordberg will act as co-president with Komiyama, and will take over the reins Oct. 15.

"I believe it is the right time for me to begin transferring the leadership of the company to a person who is able to complete the transformation program and lead Sony Ericsson through its next phase of development," Komiyama said in a statement. "I will continue to be involved with Sony Ericsson's business until the end of the year and look forward to working closely with Bert to ensure a smooth handover."  

The joint venture between Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson posted a $301 million net loss in the second quarter and will need additional financing before the beginning of next year. Ericsson and Sony have committed to supporting the company.

Nordberg said that he will look to boost the company's market share and return to profitability within a year or two years' time, according to Reuters. Sony Ericsson's global market share has fallen from 7.8 percent in the second quarter of last year to 5.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to iSuppli.

Nordberg said he would look to address weaknesses in the company's product portfolio. "Sony Ericsson has taken leadership in the music phones and the camera phones with the Cybershot and the Walkman, but there are some weaknesses in the smartphone segment and we need to restore that," he told Dow Jones Newswires.       

There was also another management shuffle at the handset maker; Sony CEO Howard Stringer will become the chairman of Sony Ericsson's board of directors Oct. 15. He will succeed Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg, who is leaving Ericsson at the end of the year to become chairman of BP.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article
- see this Sony Ericsson release

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