Sweden-headquartered vendor Ericsson appointed Erik Ekudden (pictured) as the group’s new CTO, replacing Ulf Ewaldsson who assumed a new role in April.

In a statement Ericsson said Ekudden, who will also serve as head of technology and architecture, will start work in his new role from 1 July.

He will be charged with leading the company’s technology strategy, driving network evolution and building on Ericsson’s strengths to support new and existing customers, while focussing on innovation “and transform networks for the future”.

Ekudden is something of an Ericsson veteran, joining the company in 1993 and holding various positions during his time. For the past seven years, he had been responsible for Ericsson’s technology strategies and industry activities.

He will certainly have his work cut out; the network vendor is in a troubled state after reporting a €1.2 billion loss last quarter and needs to strengthen activities in certain areas while potentially offloading others.

Ekudden said with 5G the company was building a “platform for innovation”, with a fundamental shift taking place in networks technology. He said it will be his mission to “define the technology direction of Ericsson”.

The role of CTO had been vacant since 1 April, when Ekudden’s predecessor Ulf Ewaldsson was named as SVP and head of business area Digital Services.

Ewaldsson served as CTO for four years and assumed the additional responsibility of head of strategy in September 2016, when the company decided to combine the CTO and chief strategy officer (CSO) roles.

Following a company restructure, Niklas Heuveldop took over the CSO role in April, and was also named as SVP and head of the company’s Technology and Emerging Business unit.

In addition, he is currently serving as acting head of its North America division, as well as the lead in the company’s partnership with Cisco, following the departure of Rima Qureshi earlier this month.