Nokia Steps Up its 5G Race as it Appoints Pekka Lundmark to Take Over from Rajeev Suri as Nokia CEO
Nokia CEO, Rajeev Suri is finally set to step down from his office. The tech giants announced its chief executive will step leave office in September 2020, after 6 years at the helm.
According to the company, Pekka Lundmark, the current head of Finnish energy group, Fortum, will take over from Suri as CEO effective September 1, 2020.
Suri raised the value of Nokia to over $11 billion
Rajeev Suri, who became Nokia CEO and president in April 2014 transformed the Nokia brand during his tenure. He raised the company’s overall value quite astonishingly from approximately $1.1 billion to more than $11 billion.
In 2015, he championed the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, a global telecom company for $16.6 billion and spurred the re-emergence of the Nokia mobile phones. The Nokia mobile unit had initially been sold to Microsoft in 2013 before Suri became Nokia CEO.
He also oversaw the creation of a standalone software business as well as the launch of ‘internet of things’ (IoT) products like soil sensors for agriculture.
Speaking on his impending departure, Suri said he leaves the company in the belief that it will return to better performance.
Nokia will always be part of me, and I want to thank everyone that I have worked with over the years for helping make Nokia a better place and me a better leader. I leave the company with a belief that a return to better performance is on the horizon and with pride for what we have accomplished over time.Rajeev suri, CEO, Nokia
After more than 25 years in the company, Suri is handing over the reins of the company to Lundmark. Speaking about his successor, Sari said Pekka Lundmark is an excellent choice for the company.
“Pekka is an excellent choice for Nokia. I look forward to working with him on a smooth transition and wish him the best success in his new role.”Rajeev Suri
Lundmark to fight Nokia’s 5G battles
Nokia is one of the world’s top telecom companies leading the global 5G penetration drive. For years, the company has been locked in a fierce battle for 5G dominance with top competitors like Huawei and Ericsson.
However, Nokia appears to be lagging behind its competitors in the 5G race. As of last month, Nokia had about 68 commercial 5G contracts, far below Huawei which said it has at least 91 and Ericsson which claimed it had 81 deals.
Also, Nokia suspended its dividend last year so it could free up resources to continue investing in 5G. And the new CEO, Lundmark will be expected to leverage his over 20 years of experience in the industry to drive Nokia’s 5G agenda.
Lundmark is, however, not new to Nokia. He has held various executive roles at Nokia, including vice president of strategy and business development at Nokia Networks from 1990-2000.
Lundmark has also previously worked as Chief Executive Officer of Konecranes, a global material-handling technology leader. He has a master’s degree from Helsinki University of Technology.
Although, Lundmark will be taking over the company. Suri will still remain with the company albeit in an advisory capacity till next year.
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