Telecoms gear maker Ericsson has picked Swedish businessman and board member Borje Ekholm to take over as chief executive as the firm grapples with cost cuts and an industry downturn. Hayley Platt reports.
He's clearly not afraid of the limelight or a 90 percent profit plunge. But Ericsson's new leading man knows there may be some who fear a tragedy at the struggling Swedish giant. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NEW ERICSSON CEO, BORJE EKHOLM, SAYING: "It's a very emotional day for me. One day I kind of leave a company I never thought I'd leave. I'm leaving Investor where I've been 25 years almost which is pretty much half my life, for that company. But on the other hand I'm very excited about joining Ericsson." Ekholm's appointment comes three months after Hans Vestberg was ousted over his leadership and pay. Many felt he was too slow to respond to worsening market conditions and fierce competition. And last month came news of around 4,000 job cuts. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "We've already seen at the high-end for example just how easy it is for a company to shoot itself in the foot. We've seen that with Samsung, even Apple has been under a little bit of pressure particularly with regard to some of its iPhone sales and indeed smart watches." Ekholm won't take over until January and will run the Swedish firm - with its 113,000 employees - from the U.S. The aim is to refocus on research and development and move Ericsson into a new era of software and services. But 5G technology is still years away. Some fear Ekholm may have to give the performance of a life time.