Eric Haakonsson was Earl of Lade, Governor of Norway and Earl of Northumbria. He was the son of Earl Hákon Sigurðarson and brother of the legendary Aud Haakonsdottir of Lade. He participated in the Battle of Hjörungavágr, the Battle of Svolder and the conquest of England by King Canute the Great.
After the battle of Svolder, together with his brother Sveinn Hákonarson, Eric became governor of Norway under Sweyn Forkbeard from 1000 to 1012. Eric's son, Hákon Eiríksson, continued in this position until 1015. Eric and Sveinn consolidated their rule by marrying their sister Bergljót to Einarr Þambarskelfir, gaining a valuable advisor and ally. Fagrskinna relates that "there was good peace at this time and very prosperous seasons. The jarls maintained the laws well and were stern in punishing offences."
During his rule of Norway, Eric's only serious rival was Erlingr Skjálgsson. Too powerful and cautious to touch but not powerful enough to seek open confrontation he maintained an uneasy peace and alliance with the earls throughout their rule.