Senior BT executive Katherine Ainley to join as CEO of Ericsson UK & Ireland in February 2021

Ericsson is set to strengthen it’s 5G leadership with the appointment of Katherine Ainley as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the United Kingdom and Ireland, effective 1 February 2021.

Ainley will join Ericsson from BT where she has held a number of senior executive positions since 2007, including the recent roles of Managing Director of Ventures in Enterprise and CEO of Tikit, a then wholly owned subsidiary of BT. She succeeds John Griffin, who has been acting in the role since October. Griffin will return to his permanent role as Country Manager for Ericsson Ireland and continues as a highly valued member of the unit’s leadership team.

The appointment of Ainley comes as 5G technology presents the UK and Ireland with a crucial opportunity to build back better following the impacts of COVID-19 and increased demand for connectivity and digital transformation. As the only 5G vendor in the UK to have commercial agreements in place with all four major mobile network operators, Ericsson will be upgrading 20,000 network sites by 2024 to boost UK connectivity and recently announced the creation of 800 jobs to support an accelerated 5G rollout. 

Commenting on her appointment, Ainley says: “Ericsson is at the forefront of 5G deployment around the world, playing an especially critical role here in the UK and Ireland where the technology is so important to the economic ambitions for both countries. I am honoured and excited to be joining as CEO in February and look forward to leading Ericsson’s accelerated network deployment and opening up 5G as an exciting innovation platform for the future in partnership with all mobile network operators.”

Arun Bansal, President and Head of Ericsson Europe and Latin America said, “I am very excited for Katherine Ainley to join Ericsson as our new CEO for the UK and Ireland. With 5G primed to bring societal benefits to the UK as well as an estimated £15bn in additional economic growth from industries like manufacturing, construction and agriculture, Katherine will be a key part of our 5G journey, bringing a wealth of industry experience to the role. I look forward to welcoming her to our team as we build on our leading position in the UK.”