Ericsson shares see slight uptick following nomination announcement
The Ericsson Nomination Committee has tapped Ronnie Leten, former CEO of global mining, power tool and assembly equipment Atlas Copco, to serve as the network infrastructure vendor’s new chairman of the board.
On June 1 the company announced that Leif Johansson, chairman of the company’s board of directors since 2011, will not stand for re-election to the post for a term beginning in 2018. At the time, Johansson said in a statement: “It has been an exciting but also challenging time. Börje Ekholm assumed the position as CEO in the beginning of the year and during the first quarter the company presented a new, more focused, business strategy. This strategy, which is supported by the board and the major owners, creates a solid foundation for realizing Ericsson’s full potential. The company now enters a new phase, with focus on execution, and we also have a new ownership constellation. It is natural to let the owners jointly propose a chairman and well ahead of this I want to announce that I will not be available for a next term”.
A nomination committee, comprising six members including Johansson, was tasked with identifying chairman candidates and presentingthat person to the board of directors. In addition to Johansson, the nomination committee includes reps from major shareholders including Investor AB, owned by the influential Wallenberger family, and activist hedge fund Cevian Funds.
Eckholm took the reins from Hans Vestberg, now a Verizon executive, last year amid an ongoing sales slump.
Leten is a Belgian citizen and holds a degree in applied economics from the University of Hasselt.
Johan Forssell, chairman of the Nomination Commitee, said in a statement: “The Nomination Committee has worked intensively and constructively during recent months, and we are glad that we now can propose a new Chairman of the Board in Ericsson. The Nomination Committee believes that in Ronnie Leten, we have found the right person to assume the position as Chairman in Ericsson, providing experience and competence that will benefit the company. Ronnie Leten has a very strong track record when it comes to value creation. Mr Leten is a very skilled businessman, technically savvy and strategically versatile. Furthermore, he has significant experience from digitalization of major operations, which will be beneficial for Ericsson’s focused work together with its customers.