August 17, 2009 / 7:43 AM / 11 years ago

Struggling Sony Ericsson taps Nordberg as new head

Bert Nordberg, head of Ericsson's new Silicon Valley campus, attends a question-and-answer session in Santa Clara, California, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Loss-making handset maker Sony Ericsson said on Monday Chief Executive Dick Komiyama would retire at the end of the year, with Ericsson executive Bert Nordberg to take the helm from October 15.

The firm also said Sony CEO Howard Stringer would become new board chairman on the same day, replacing Ericsson head Carl-Henric Svanberg, who will become chairman of BP Plc in January.

“Bert Nordberg has a strong track-record in the area of business realignment and was instrumental in the transformation of Ericsson in the years 2002-2003,” Svanberg said in a statement.

“I am confident he will be able to build upon the foundation Dick has created and lead the final stages of Sony Ericsson’s transformation,” he said.

Large losses at Sony Ericsson have sparked market speculation of a possible breakup of the 50-50 venture, but Sony and Ericsson have said they are committed to the operation and could inject more money into it if necessary.

In July Sony Ericsson posted a pretax loss of 283 million euros ($400 million), and said the rest of the year would be difficult, with the overall market to shrink at least 10 percent.

Of the top five cellphone vendors, Sony Ericsson saw the sharpest drop in sales from the first quarter. The firm has missed trends like full keyboards, Internet browsing and navigation, and research firm Gartner said last week its market share fell to just 4.7 percent globally.

Reporting by Brett Young, editing by Will Waterman

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