Ericsson

(ERIC) - Get Report

is placing its divisions under three business units that will cover networks, global services and multimedia, and it's planning to hire additional workers to improve its research efforts.

The Stockholm-based company is planning to bring on board 500 new engineers, primarily to boost its development in the areas of next-generation Internet protocol networks and multimedia technology.

The new networking unit will be led by Kurt Jofs and will have around 21,500 employees. The multimedia division will have about 4,000 workers, and its chief will be named shortly.

Ericsson's services unit, established in 1999, won't be affected, and Hans Vestberg will continue to be in charge of the operation. The services organization has roughly 23,000 employees worldwide.

"We are stronger than ever and the time is right to accelerate the pace of business development and establish a market defining role in the integration of communications and media," Carl-Henric Svanberg, Ericsson's president and CEO, explained. " We will leverage our position in mobile networks, services and transmission and expand our leadership in next generation converging IP-networks with a focus on multimedia applications and services."

The new organization will be in effect as of Jan. 1. Shares of Ericsson were rising 25 cents to $34.24.