Ericsson Names Chip Chief After Taking Over ST-Ericsson Business

Ericsson AB, seeking to expand in mobile-device chips, named Robert Puskaric head of the wireless-modem business it took over when its joint venture with STMicroelectronics NV was dissolved last year.

Puskaric will start May 7, the Stockholm-based network-equipment maker said today in a statement. He replaces Mats Norin, who headed the integration of the unit into Ericsson after the dismantling of the ST-Ericsson joint venture.

Ericsson is trying to revive the chip business as part of a bid to expand beyond the network-gear industry that’s facing slowing sales. Last year, Ericsson agreed to take on 1,800 of the chip venture’s workers to continue developing its technology, after splitting up the unprofitable business with STMicroelectronics.

Puskaric has been at Ericsson since 1996. He’s headed its businesses in northern Europe and central Asia and been a member of the company’s global leadership team since 2010.

The Ericsson modems unit develops chips that help mobile devices connect to the Internet. It released its first product in the fourth quarter and said it is working with a “tier one” smartphone manufacturer to integrate the product in the customer’s devices. The business has little revenue now, and Ericsson is projecting sales for the unit starting in the second half of 2014.

Ericsson shares rose 0.1 percent to 78.75 kronor at 9 a.m. in Stockholm.

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