Ericsson has reshuffled its top management, following the resignation of its president and chief executive in the middle of the Swedish telecom equipment provider's ambitious restructuring programme.
Sven-Christer Nilsson, who quit his post on Wednesday, has been replaced as president by Kurt Hellstrom. Lars Ramqvist, the firm's chairman, has stepped in as chief executive, but only on a temporary basis.
The move follows the company's decision last December to slash 11,000 jobs over the next two years and cease production of its older AXE switching systems.
Ramqvist said the management reshuffle would help speed the pace of its reinvention into an IP and datacoms specialist.
But he admitted that: "The fixed networks business is a tough one and we experienced a drop in sales to Latin America and Asia. Our strength is in wireless and mobile and our ambition is to have new products in IP and datacoms. The challenge is pace, we must be quicker."
He ruled out further changes to Ericsson's senior executive team, however, although he said the company needed to hire a chief financial officer. He also refuted suggestions that it intended to make a major purchase despite continuing rumours that it was about to buy 3Com.
Ramqvist said the company was happy with the acquisitions it had made so far and would continue with what he described as a "string of pearls" acquisition policy.
As part of its plunge into the IP world, Ericsson agreed in April to acquire two small companies - Internet router supplier, Torrent Networking Technologies for $450 million, and Touchwave, a Palo Alto, California based supplier of network phone systems for the small and medium sized business market, for $46 million.
Last year it also purchased Advanced Computer Communications, a carrier specific remote access specialist for $285 million.
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