Ericsson reports 12% decline in Q4 sales; creates new ’emerging business’ unit

Ericsson today reported a 12% decline in Q4 2017 sales and a 10% full-year sales decline in what company President and CEO Börje Ekholm described as a “challenging 2017.” One of the key determinants, according to the company, was an expected downturn in LTE-related equipment and services in mainland China.

Eckholm said the slow down in RAN sales to Chinese service providers is expected to continue to lose steam in 2018. “The Chinese market,” he said, “is expected to continue to decline due to reduced LTE investments, while there is positive momentum in North America. The focus during 2017 has been on reshaping overall strategy and on improving company structure and performance. 2017 was also the year when 5G went from vision to real business opportunities while we at the same time had good traction for our 4G portfolio. We are fully committed to our plans and our targets and expect to see tangible results of our turnaround in 2018.

The below table, provided by Ericsson, lays out key financial metrics.

Ericsson restructures leadership

As it continues to face shifting marketing dynamics, Ericsson has created a new group dubbed “Business Area Emerging Business,” that will be helmed by former McKinsey & Company partner Asa Tamsons. Effective April 1, Tamsons will become senior vice president and head of Business Area Emerging Business, and also join the company’s executive team.

Beginning Feb. 1, the marketing and communications and sustainability and public affairs business groups will be merged into a consolidated Group Function Marketing & Corporate Relations unit headed by Helena Norrman, who currently leads the Group Function Marketing & Communications office.

Ulf Ewaldsson will leave his leadership position of Business Area Digital Services to become advisor to the CEO. He will be replaced in that position by  Jan Karlsson, who heads Solution Area BSS will assume Ewaldsson’s former position. Elaine Weidman, who leads the Group Function Sustainability & Public Affairs, is leaving the company.

“With these changes we are both simplifying our structure and increasing focus on innovation and new business with the creation of Business Area Emerging Business,” Ekholm said. “With these changes we will also increase focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility in each business area and market area, making the unit heads fully accountable for their respective areas.”



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