Ericsson's M&A Leader Resigns

Ericsson acknowledged Monday that Douglas Gilstrap, who has been senior vice president and head of Group Function Strategy for the last five years, and a key player in Ericsson's M&A activities, is resigning. He'll be leaving the company in August, but Ericsson's interest in M&A likely will remain.

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement that Gilstrap played a leading role in all M&A activities during his time with the company. After bingeing on buyouts of Telcordia, Conceptwave, Tandberg TV, Nortel assets and others, Ericsson grew quieter on the M&A front in the last two years -- though it did buy Microsoft's IPTV assets last year (See Ericsson Buys Microsoft's IPTV Unit.)

Now, with an active search for Gilstrap's replacement already in motion, Ericsson might be looking for a strategist and M&A driver to hunt down possible acquisitions and other endeavors in the SDN space to complement the OSS assets and expertise it gained with the Telcordia buy. (See What's Ericsson's Next M&A Move? and Ericsson Closes Telcordia Acquisition.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner 4/17/2014 | 1:41:36 PM
Re: Vestberg likes R&D DOShea - "No clear indication, though when somebody's pushed out, he doesn't usually stick around for another four months."

True. And that kind of lead time suggests that he's retiring, or changing careers. 
DOShea 4/16/2014 | 9:48:23 PM
Re: Vestberg likes R&D No clear indication, though when somebody's pushed out, he doesn't usually stick around for another four months.

ramesh kumar 4/15/2014 | 7:03:17 AM
Ericsson's M&A Leader Resigns Inaction in M&A space of telecom OEM space maybe got better. Its something when the whole telecom space is supposed to remain flat and expected spending from CSP's in slowdown phase because of various macro economic condition in major market Europe, Asia, etc.
Mitch Wagner 4/14/2014 | 5:19:11 PM
Re: Vestberg likes R&D Any indication why he left? Did he jump, or was he pushed? No activity over the last two years, combined with a CEO who prefers to spend on R&D, suggests that he wanted to go somewhere he could be more active. 
DOShea 4/14/2014 | 4:33:43 PM
Vestberg likes R&D A lot also has been reported about Vestberg's preference for spending money on R&D over M&A--unless buying can provide an advantage, timing or otherwise, vs. developing in-house.
DOShea 4/14/2014 | 4:26:47 PM
Company statement By the way, here is the link to Ericsson's press release in our news wire feed: http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/4g-lte/ericsson-strategy-head-gilstrap-heading-out/d/d-id/708652
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