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Ericsson officials said the company slashed 10,000 jobs in the final quarter of the year as it continued its efforts to improve efficiency and cut costs.

The Swedish telecom equipment giant also announced two departures from its executive team and reported a $2.4 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2017. The loss was the company's fifth in a row and was significantly larger than that of in the previous fourth quarter, which The Wall Street Journal attributed to recently announced asset write-downs.

"The fourth quarter was in line with our overall expectation, with gradual improving performance in networks and continued significant losses in digital services," President and CEO Börje Ekholm said in a statement. "The result is, however, far below our long-term ambition."

Ericsson and other telecom equipment makers struggled in recent years as wireless carriers await the arrival of faster 5G technology to make more infrastructure purchases. The Journal noted that the company shed a total of about 17,000 jobs in the full calendar year.

Company officials added that the market for Radio Access Network equipment is expected to slide by about 2 percent in 2018, with reduced LTE investment in China but some signs of momentum in North America.

Ekholm argued that the company reduced its commercial risks and bolstered its financial flexibility during the past year. He also highlighted "several breakthrough contracts" with companies such as Verizon and Deutsche Telekom and said R&D initiatives would continue to grow.

Ericsson established a Business Area Emerging Business segment — designed to capitalize on the potential of 5G and IoT technologies — and appointed McKinsey & Company partner Åsa Tamsons to head the business. She was also added to the company's executive team.

The Technology & Emerging Business division, meanwhile, will be shifted into the new unit, while Ericsson’s Marketing & Communications and Sustainability & Public Affairs groups will be merged. As a result, Ulf Ewaldsson and Elaine Weidman departed the executive team effective Thursday.

"2017 was also the year when 5G went from vision to real business opportunities while we at the same time had good traction for our 4G portfolio," Ekholm said. "We are fully committed to our plans and our targets and expect to see tangible results of our turnaround in 2018."

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