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Svanberg of Ericsson will be BP's chair

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<div>BP named Ericsson chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg as its new chairman yesterday, in a surprise appointment which ended the British oil major&rsquo;s lengthy search for a successor to Peter Sutherland.<br /><br />BP chief executive Tony Hayward said the firm would benefit from Swedish Svanberg&rsquo;s experience in emerging markets and in dealing with governments.<br /><br />Svanberg, who will be replaced at Ericsson by its chief financial officer Hans Vestberg, said he planned no major strategic changes. He will be paid &pound;600,000 a year.<br /><br />Svanberg, who takes over on 1 January, will be London-based and will stay on as a non-executive director at mobile phone firm Ericsson. It will be his first oil industry role.<br /><br />&ldquo;Peter Sutherland has been an outstanding chairman, guiding the company through one of the most successful periods in its history. He will be a hard act to follow,&rdquo; Hayward said. Sutherland has been chairman of BP for the last 12 years.<br /><br />Svanberg led a successful turnaround of the then loss-making Ericsson, slashing jobs and costs, before building it into one of the strongest companies in the sector.<br /><br />However, a profit warning in 2007 shortly after the company made bullish comments to analysts, dented confidence in Svanberg and his management team.<br /><br />One of Svanberg&rsquo;s key tasks at BP will be to help improve relations with the oligarchs at its troubled &nbsp;Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP.<br />&nbsp;</div>
&ldquo;Svanberg comes with a mixed reputation,&rdquo; Christine Tiscareno of Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s said.<br /><br /><strong>CARL-HENRIC SVANBERG <br /><br />NEW BP CHAIRMAN</strong> <br /><br /> Carl-Henric Svanberg, chairman-designate of BP, has a strong record of growing and fixing companies, but many analysts and investors know him best for presiding over a shock profit warning.<br /><br />Svanberg, 57, has been chief executive of Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson since 2003 when it was heavily loss-making.<br /><br />He is credited with restructuring and building Ericsson into one of the strongest players in the sector, with revenues of $27bn (&pound;16.5bn) last year and more than 70,000 employees.<br /><br />&ldquo;The departing chief executive effected a major turnaround in the company,&rdquo; Morgan Stanley said.<br /><br />Gareth Jenkins at UBS said Svanberg had been &ldquo;a good presenter of the business and steward of the company,&rdquo; through difficult times.<br /><br />His reputation was dented in 2007 after a shock profit warning.<br /><br />But Svanberg said he was proud of the time he spent at the telecoms company.</div>