Ericsson’s new CEO Borje Ekholm pledged to take the company through its “period of intense change” to see it emerge as an “even stronger leader,” as he took the reins at the company.

In a statement, Ekholm spoke optimistically about the company’s position in the development of 5G and reiterated his aim to return the company to success.

“As a company and an industry we are going through a period of intense change,” he said. “Our job is to ensure that Ericsson emerges as an even stronger leader, providing the industry and our customers with superior products, services and solutions. We will ensure that Ericsson remains at the forefront of technological development – across all parts of our portfolio and markets. Our task is to make our customers successful, which in turn will make us successful.”

Ekholm takes over a company mid-way through significant restructuring and cost-cutting measures, which included moves to reduce its Swedish workforce by 3,000.

The appointment, announced in October, brings to an end the six month tenure of interim boss Jan Frykhammar, who took over following the resignation of long-term CEO Hans Vestberg in July last year and who remains on Ericsson’s executive team in an advisory role.

Ericsson signs Australia deal
Coinciding with Ekholm’s first day, the company revealed details of a deal to provide Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) with hardware and software to virtualise the operator’s core and IP network.

The agreement is a result of its high-profile Cisco partnership and Ericsson said it marks the first time the two companies have collaborated on telecoms cloud infrastructure for an operator.

VHA CTO Kevin Millroy said the new infrastructure “opens the door to new business models and markets,” citing the development of Internet of Things technologies as a particular aim for the company.

An Ericsson spokesperson told Mobile World Live the deal is one of the largest it has signed as part of its Cisco partnership.