Describing the SEK 12 billion provision in the third quarter to settle investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice as a “terrible amount of money,” Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said on Thursday that the mobile telecom gears maker should have reacted faster to warning signals.
“Given the way we have conducted the business in the past, we have not had adequate controls to catch and follow up problems and ‘violations’ of our compliance with our policies. But I did not fully understand this when we hired an external company that went through our controls and concluded that we did not meet the requirements we had.”
The investigations, which cover a period ending with the first quarter of 2017 (ed.), have revealed breaches of Ericsson’s Code of Business Ethics and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in China, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.
The CEO is personally upset to find the company in this position but hopes to be able to “put this behind us and move forward”.
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