Ericsson CFO Will Become CEO From Jan. 1

The CFO of Ericsson will become its CEO on Jan. 1, the Swedish telecommunications equipment vendor said on Thursday.

Hans Vestberg will take over from Carl-Henric Svanberg, who has been at the helm of Ericsson since 2003. Svanberg has, in turn, accepted the position of chairman at British energy company BP. He will remain a member of Ericsson's board of directors, the company said.

Vestberg started working for Ericsson in 1991, after getting his bachelor's degree the same year, and has since held managerial positions in China, Brazil and the U.S.

Having worked in China will be of huge assistance, because of the growing importance of the Chinese market for telecom vendors, according to Mark Newman, chief research officer at market research company Informa Telecoms and Media.

Vestberg has also been the head of Ericsson's Global Services unit, which has become a more important sector for Ericsson during the last couple of years.

His biggest challenge will be to compete on the one hand with China's increasingly successful Huawei Technologies, which is aggressive on pricing, and on the other hand with Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, who are so desperate to stay in this business that they will also put a lot of pressure on pricing, Newman said.

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