Ericsson chief Hans Vestberg resigns with immediate effect

Ericsson's board of directors today said that Hans Vestberg steps down as president and CEO, and member of the board of directors of Ericsson with immediate effect.

Jan Frykhammar, executive vice president and CFO, will assume the CEO's position until a new CEO is in office.

Hans Vestberg, who had been with the company for around 30 years including seven at the helm, would leave all assignments as of today but would be on call over the next six months.

"Hans has been instrumental in building strong relationships with key customers around the world and his leadership and energy have been an inspiration to employees and leaders across Ericsson," chairman of the board Leif Johansson sid in a statement.

"However, in the current environment and as the company accelerates its strategy execution, the board of directors has decided that the time is right for a new leader to drive the next phase in Ericsson's development. "

Vestberg said, "As the industry enters a next phase, driven by 5G, the Internet of Things and Cloud, it is time for a new chief executive to step in and continue the work to ensure Ericsson's industry leadership."

Vestberg's departure brings the curtain down on a turbulent period in Ericsson, which is cutting jobs even as it fights competition from from Huawei  and Nokia.

Ericsson said last week that it would accelerate cost cuts after reporting disappointing results. Vestberg had faced questions on probes into alleged corruption in Asia and Europe, and last week the company rejected a report in Swedish media that it might be inflating sales by booking revenue before some clients were invoiced.