From: Reuters
Published January 31, 2008 12:51 PM

Ericsson's Redback CEO leaves executive role

By Jerker Hellstrom

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The head of telecom equipment maker Ericsson's <ERICb.ST> Redback Networks unit is leaving his executive position to become vice chairman of the unit, Redback's chairman said on Thursday.

Disclosing the news a day before Ericsson reports fourth-quarter results, Redback Chairman Bert Nordberg described the change as part of an established plan.

The news also follows speculation Ericsson could take a writedown for its $2.1 billion acquisition of Redback, a maker of data networking equipment.

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Nordberg said Redback Chief Executive Kevin DeNuccio would be leaving his executive role. "He's going to become Redback vice chairman," Nordberg told Reuters.

Ericsson Spokeswoman Ase Lindskog said Georges Antoun, a vice president at Redback, would replace DeNuccio.

Nordberg said he expected the new Redback chief would take up the role in early April, adding: "This has been the plan all along."

Swedish daily Dagens Industri had reported on its Web site on Thursday that DeNuccio was leaving his post.

STRATEGIC PUSH

Ericsson made the Redback acquistion soon after announcing a restructuring of its operations, a shift designed to help it push into multimedia and reduce its reliance on mobile telecom network sales and upgrades as a dominant source of income.

Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, in a report this week, cited an analyst as saying Ericsson may have to write down the value of Redback.

Ericsson completed its acquisition of Redback in January 2007. Founded in 1996, the San Jose-based firm designs and makes networking hardware and software for IP-based services.

(Editing by Rory Channing)

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