Ericsson board backs CEO amid ongoing Iraq scandal

As the controversy around its alleged dodgy dealings in Iraq continues, Swedish kit maker Ericsson has today made a statement supporting its CEO.

The statement issued today by its Chairman Ronnie Leten and the board of Directors reads as follows:

While Ericsson since 2017 has taken significant steps in improving the culture of ethics and compliance, further efforts are underway to help ensure that the company operates at all times ethically and with integrity including in relation to the current issues before the DOJ.

CEO Börje Ekholm has the full confidence of the board, not only in regard to driving the company’s performance, but also in regard to the ethical and compliance transformation of the organization, which he continues to lead.

On Monday March 21, 2022 a new Chief Legal Officer, Scott Dresser, joins Ericsson. Scott brings solid experience in driving positive change, including enhanced governance, compliance, and controls. Scott is the right person to support the Company as it moves forward.

Scott, working with external counsel, will lead the comprehensive review of the conduct relating to Iraq and how it was addressed. This process is ongoing and we will act promptly to address shortcomings or misconduct identified. The Company continues to coordinate with the DOJ and other relevant authorities.

At this point in time, we cannot give any further information.

Ericsson’s share price dropped significantly in February as information surrounding  previous investigation by the US Department of Justice came to light, which in short infer the kit vendor may have in some way shape or form ended up handing over money to ISIS in Iraq.

As we reported Friday, Ericsson’s new Chief Legal Officer joins from Veon, where he served as group general counsel in 2016, when it agreed a $795 million deal with the DoJ, the SEC and Dutch regulators to settle allegations that the telco bribed its way into Uzbekistan. It seems clear his experience there was a driving factor in the hire, as Ericsson looks to navigate its current controversy.

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