Ericsson CEO purges his executive team, again

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, has ditched both of his ‘advisors’ as he continues to sculpt the executive team in his image.

Jan Frykhammar, interim CEO until Ekholm turned up and CFO for seven years prior to that, has been shown the door. Joining him in the pursuit of other opportunities is Magnus Mandersson, another Ericsson lifer who had headed up various business units prior to has move to advisor in Ekholm’s March purge. They were the only people at Ericsson with the title Executive Vice President.

In hindsight this was effectively the start of a long gardening leave, allowing Ekholm to distance the two of them from the day-to-day running of any part of the company while not appearing to be too ruthless and ungrateful at the time. Their departure now should have minimum impact other than getting rid of two members of the executive team that Ekholm presumably deemed undesirable.

Only one new EVP has been appointed to fill the void. Fredrik Jejdling, who is already Head of Business Area Networks, has been invited to the top table. The rest of the executive team are all SVPs, which may say things about both Ekholm’s and Jejdling’s status within the company.

“Jan and Magnus have been part of guiding Ericsson through the incredible transformation that the industry has gone through the past 15 years,” said Ekholm.

“Jan Frykhammar has been invaluable to the company during his 26 years at Ericsson, not least when stepping up as interim CEO in a time when leadership and momentum was of utmost importance. Magnus has been instrumental in building up the company’s services business, and in establishing and nurturing some of our most important customer relationships. I wish Jan and Magnus all the best in their future endeavors.”

So we’ve got a new CEO, a purged executive team and a new Chairman. Everything is in place now for Ekholm to work his magic. Perhaps today’s announcement of a new network upgrade deal signed with Mobily in Saudi Arabia is a sign of things to come.