Struggling handset maker Sony Ericsson said on Monday (techmeme) that chief executive Dick Komiyama would retire at the end of the year, naming Ericsson executive Bert Nordberg to take the helm from October 15.
Adding to the executive musical chairs, the firm also announced that Sony CEO Howard Stringer has been named as the new board chairman on the same day, replacing Ericsson head Carl-Henric Svanberg, who is expected to become chairman of BP 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.
But the transformation is far from complete, and sizeable losses at Sony Ericsson have sparked market rumors of a possible breakup of the 50-50 venture. (Sony and Ericsson have denied the speculation and offered to inject more funds into the agreement if necessary.)
As a handset maker, Sony Ericsson has been behind the ball in mobile phone trends such as full keyboards, Internet browsing and navigation. Last week, research firm Gartner said the company's market share fell to just 4.7 percent globally, and of the top five cellphone vendors, Sony Ericsson saw the sharpest drop in sales from the first quarter.
In July, Sony Ericsson posted a pretax loss of approx $400 million USD. That was before the global economic downturn shrank the market by 10 percent.