Who: Rajeev Suri, 46, chief executive officer of Nokia Oyj.

Why: Nokia named Suri after searching for seven months to replace Stephen Elop, who is returning to Microsoft Corp. with the sale of Nokia’s mobile phone unit. Suri was head of Nokia’s networks division and has turned around its main telecom network business.

Background: In September, Nokia had agreed to sell the phone unit following the accumulation of losses of more than €5 billion over nine quarters. The Nokia-Microsoft merger, which includes patent-licensing fees, was completed in April. The Finnish company was once the world’s largest smartphone maker with a market share of over 50% and then slipped from the top five list with about 3% share as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and phones running Google Inc.’s Android software gained dominance in the market.

Experience: Suri joined Nokia in 1995 and has held a range of leadership positions. Since October 2009, he served as CEO of Nokia Solutions and Networks, the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens that is now fully owned by Nokia. During his tenure as CEO, the business went through a radical transformation to become one of the leaders in the telecom infrastructure industry, Nokia said. Suri is an electronics and communication engineer from Manipal Institute of Technology.

Challenge: Suri will have to focus on wireless network equipment and has to battle rivals such as Ericsson AB and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd to reverse falling equipment revenue, which accounts for about 90% of Nokia’s sales. Nokia has announced plans to spend about €5 billion on dividends, share buy-backs and debt reduction.

Close