Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri to step down; Pekka Lundmark to take over1 min read . Updated: 02 Mar 2020, 12:28 PM IST
- The chief executive of Nokia Oyj, Rajeev Suri, is stepping down
- Suri will be replaced by Pekka Lundmark, the outgoing CEO of Fortum Oyj
The chief executive of Nokia Oyj, Rajeev Suri, is stepping down after just over half a decade at the helm of the Finnish network company.
Suri will be replaced by Pekka Lundmark, the outgoing CEO of Fortum Oyj, according to a statement on Monday.
Suri, 52, has struggled during his tenure to gain a foothold in the all-important fifth-generation market. Because of the fierce competition facing Nokia, it has started to explore its strategic options, including potential asset sales or mergers, Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people close to the deliberations.
Nokia fell behind rivals Ericsson AB and China’s Huawei Technologies Co., just as the Finnish company was on the cusp of large-scale rollouts of its 5G mobile networks amid problems developing proprietary chipsets. As a result, Nokia was forced to buy more expensive alternatives, adding to its costs and eroding profits.
In October, Nokia angered investors when it suspended its dividend and cut its earnings guidance, wiping 23% off the share price in a single day. Over the past 12 months, the company has lost about a third of its market value.
Suri, who has been at Nokia for 25 years, became CEO after running the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture. He will leave his current position on Aug. 31 and continue to serve as an adviser to the Nokia Board until Jan. 1, 2021, Nokia said.
In Lundmark, Nokia is getting a CEO who has “consistently delivered robust total shareholder returns, successfully renewed the company’s strategy, and positioned it to be a strong player in the transforming global energy sector," the company said on Monday.
“He has a record of leadership and shareholder value creation at large business-to-business companies; deep experience in telecommunications networks, industrial digitization, and key markets such as the United States and China; and a focus on strategic clarity, operational excellence and strong financial performance," Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s board chairman, said in the statement.
Lundmark has a track record of doing large deals, having engineered Fortum’s $6.9 billion acquisition of German utility Uniper with the help of investors Elliott and Knight Vinke (the deal is seen closing this quarter).
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.