Ericsson’s new CEO says financial crisis over

An almost hour-long talk with Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a telecom tycoon turned politician, was one of the highlights when Ericsson’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Carl-Henric Svanberg, visited Thailand 21 August.
     “With his background he knows the industry well. The Prime Minister emphasized the need for deregulation of the telecom industry here and rules that govern a free telecom market,” said Carl-Henric Svanberg.
     Ericsson’s new CEO, who took up the job in April 2003 after a successful career as CEO with the Assa Abloy Group, said the company has gone through a tough financial crisis and is on its way to profitability again. More than 60 000 jobs have been cut world wide in two years time, from the pre crisis 110 000 staff to today’s over 40 000 employees
     “Ericsson of today is focused on what the end users need, on economic performance and operational excellence. To deliver in time is a must for us, “ said Svanberg.
     One growth area for Ericsson will be network outsourcing, believes Svanberg.
     “Telecom operators need to deliver services to their clients while running the networks may be outsourced to other parties,” said Svanberg who felt that Ericsson is the best suited network outsourcing player in the telecom industry while at the same time recognizing classic IT companies as IBM and HP as very competent possible competitors in this field as well.
     Ericsson’s growth in Thailand and the Asia Pacific will depend very much on how third generation mobile phone networks, allowing full multimedia services over broadband high speed wireless nets, are rolled out in the region.
     “And it is important for Thailand to stay competitive for investors and attractive to tourists to catch on with the 3G development. If Thailand wait longer than two years from now to implement 3G it may be too late,” said Svanberg when asked how Thailand performs.
     Thailand remains an attractive base for Ericsson, promised Svanberg, who looked forward to the 100 years in Thailand jubilee five years from now.

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