Phone maker Sony-Ericsson has been struggling in recent quarters, as its Sony-branded Walkman phones have failed to light up international markets and the company’s high-end handsets are increasingly being eclipsed by smartphones from a variety of other makers. Couple that with a general downturn in the mobile market and Sony Ericsson has seen its market share dip below 5 percent, leading to speculation the company might be split up and sold off in pieces or rolled back into its corporate parents.
But the company is looking to shake things up, announcing Bert Nordberg, head of Ericsson’s Silicon Valley group, will take over as Sony Ericsson CEO when current CEO Hideki Komiyama retires at the end of the year. In addition, Sony CEO and Chairman Howard Stringer will step up to being Chairman of Sony Ericsson’s board, where he had previously been a member. Stringer will replace Carl-Henric Svanberg, Ericsson’s CEO and President, in the chairman role.
“I am very pleased to be joining Sony Ericsson. With the growing importance of open source platforms, applications, and content in the mobile handset industry, I believe the experiences I have gained in Silicon Valley will be very relevant to Sony Ericsson’s business going forward,” said Nordberg, in a statement. “I look forward to working with Dick Komiyama in the transition phase and getting to know the rest of the Sony Ericsson management team.”
Industry reports have Nordberg looking to streamline the company’s mobile offerings as well as develop hit products that will tap into and even create mobile trends. Sony Ericsson is known for its phones that emphasize music and media, but has historically been behind the game on smartphones and Internet connectivity.