Ericsson agreed to pay a $206.7 million penalty to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) as part of a guilty plea involving historic bribery charges spanning several nations, a move the vendor stated closed the door on a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

The vendor explained the plea related to non-criminal breaches of a DPA it entered into in 2019, following US probes into its dealings in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait between 2010 and 2016.

As part of the agreement, Ericsson agreed to pay a $1.1 billion penalty to the US government.

The company stated it wasn’t adjusting long-term financial targets following the latest development.

“Taking this step today means that the matter of the breaches is now resolved. This allows us to focus on executing our strategy while driving continued cultural change across the company with integrity at the centre of everything we do,” Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm stated.

Ekholm added Ericsson’s leadership “remain committed” to a cultural transformation sparked by the US incident, highlighting ongoing work to “implement stringent controls and improved governance, ethics and compliance” throughout the company.

The DoJ took aim at Ericsson’s efforts to meet its DPA obligations in 2021, arguing it failed to provide certain documents and factual information.

Leadership change
The US announcement came two days after Ericsson announced chief compliance officer Laurie Waddy is stepping down after just shy of four years in the role, with its European and Latin America compliance head Jan Sprafke taking over on an interim basis.

Ericsson stated Waddy “played an important role in strengthening the company’s ethics and compliance function”, with the executive highlighting “tremendous progress building toward a best-in-class compliance programme”.