Ericsson has named Jan Frykhammar as its new CFO, replacing Hans Vestberg, who is to become the Swedish vendor’s new CEO on 1 January 2010. Frykhammar (pictured), currently head of Global Services, the company’s network-maintenance unit, will take up the CFO role from 1 November. An internal CFO promotion was widely expected as Ericsson has not brought in a CFO from outside the company since 1985. Frykhammar, 44, has been with the Swedish vendor since 1991 and will remain as head of Global Services until a successor is found. As reported in June, current CFO Vestberg is taking the top job from Carl-Henric Svanberg, due to leave Ericsson and assume the role of Chairman of BP from 1 January next year.
Analysts believe the appointment of Frykhammar as a ‘steady pair of hands’ makes sense at a time when a tough market environment is catching up with Ericsson. “It’s the safe choice,” Hakan Wranne, analyst at Swedbank, told Reuters. “This is a long-timer in the company. Frykhammar is the name one has heard mentioned most often in speculations.” Last week Ericsson reported a huge 71 percent drop in net income (to SEK810 million/US$118 million). Sales came in at SEK46.4 billion, a 6 percent slip on revenue of SEK49.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Both revenue and profit fell short of analyst forecasts by a long way.