Ericsson CEO has claimed that he told staff in 2019 to disclose all the information in its Iraq report to the US Department of Justice.

Last month, it was revealed that Ericsson paid ISIS to allow it to operate and travel through land controlled by the terrorist group, and that some contractors were kidnapped.

– Wikimedia Commons/Yo

CEO Borje Ekholm said in a shareholder call: "It's correct that I instructed to disclose fully to the DOJ and then of course we have an internal process... I will not go into those details."

Despite his claim, Ericsson did not tell the DoJ about the investigation it carried out into its suspect payments in Iraq.

In addition to Iraq, the report found alleged misconduct in Lebanon, Spain, Portugal, and Egypt. A spreadsheet also showed probes into possible bribery, money laundering and embezzlement by employees in Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Croatia, Libya, Morocco, the United States, and South Africa.

Ericsson disclosed only parts of the 77-page investigation to the DoJ. It finally confirmed the report just after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) contacted Ericsson saying they were about to publish a report on it.

Earlier this month, the DoJ said that Ericsson did not properly disclose misconduct and compliance failures in Iraq, breaching a $1bn 2019 settlement between the telco OEM and the Justice Department over alleged corruption in China, Vietnam, and Djibouti.

Following the latest revelations, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ericsson, Ekholm, and CFO Carl Mellander. Proxy firms including Glass Lewis have recommended shareholders vote to remove Ekholm.

Get a weekly roundup of EMEA news, direct to your inbox.