Ericson selects former chairman of Atlas Copso, as its chairman

Ronnie Letin, 60, a Belgian, has been described as a “very skilled businessman, technically savvy and strategically versatile”.

In efforts aimed at reigning in and reviving its dipping fortunes, mobile equipment maker, Ericsson has selected Ronnie Leten, the former of of Atlas Copco, a mining gear maker, as its new chairman.

In July, Ericsson’s chairman Leif Johansson had said he would be stepping down. Leten will now replace him after getting shareholder’s approval.

With Finland’s Nokia and China Huawei’s market share increasing, Ericsson has been hit hard by the competition. In addition to this diminishing weak demand from markets and with 5G technology still years away, spending by telephone operators has come down; all of these scenarios have compounded its problems. As a results, the value of its shares have dropped almost by 50% in the past two years.

Earlier this year, Leten, 60, stepped down as CEO of Sweden’s Atlas Copco. Under his leadership, Atlas Copco’s shares had surged by 326% – twice as much as the European industrial sector index; investors have greatly appreciated the nimble cost structure which has created room for high margins; with strong after sales support, Atlas Copco’s products have done well in the cash department.

In a related development, on Monday, home appliance maker Electrolux has stated Leten will be leaving his position as chairman at the company.

“Mr Leten is a very skilled businessman, technically savvy and strategically versatile,” said Johan Forssell, chairman of Ericsson’s nomination committee.

Earlier this year, despite Ericson placing the mantle of its leadership on Borje Ekholm, Cevian Capital, a corporate activist investor holding more than 5% stake in the company has been pushing for more change.


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