Teleco Ericsson plans wave of global job cuts

Billy Bambrough
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A SonyEricsson mobile phone with Agence France-Pre
SonyEricsson was once a world leader in mobile handsets (Source: Getty)

Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson has said its home operations in Sweden will not be immune from coming job cuts.

The announcement throws in to doubt the future of Ericsson’s equipment production in the country, where it has made telegraph and telephony equipment for over 140 years.

Fierce competition and slowing global demand forced the company to step up cost cutting earlier this year.

Demand has plummeted in developed markets due to many advanced networks already being completed.

“We will handle this on a country-by-country basis and our employees and, where applicable, union representatives will always be informed first,” Ericsson said in a statement.

“We have large operations in Sweden which are not excluded [from the cost-saving plans].”

Reports have said Ericsson is considering laying off some 3,000 employees at its network-products unit in Sweden. News of the cuts was first reported by Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet yesterday.

Ericsson employs around 120,000 people worldwide, with some 17,000 in Sweden.

In 2014 Ericsson announced a 9bn Swedish crown (£840m) cost-cutting program.

In July Ericsson’s chief executive stepped down from the role to make way for a fresher outlook.

Hans Vestberg, who had been with the company for almost 30 years including seven at the helm, remains on call at the company for another few months. Vestberg decided to leave after sagging revenue and profit, along with an array of investigations, led to growing shareholder disquiet.

The company named former finance chief and executive vice president Jan Frykhammar as interim chief executive until a replacement is found. Carl Mellander, who was vice president and group treasurer, was made acting finance chief to take over from Frykhammar.

Ericsson has moved away from the consumer mobile phone products that made it a household name after it sold its stake in Sony’s mobile joint venture, which was called SonyEricsson for a time, in 2011.