While an increasing number of organizations are realizing the importance of having a CIO in a strategic role to navigate the complicated waters of digital transformation, telecom giant Nokia has decided to eliminate the group CIO role from its leadership structure. 

The change took place at the start of 2020, but the company publicly commented on it for the first in a Forbes article this week. The CIO role was last held by Ursula Soritsch-Renier who had joined the company in 2018. 

Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software and the group’s chief digital officer, confirmed the move and has now assumed Soritsch-Renier’s responsibilities, the publication reported. He explained the move was part of a broad reorganizing across the CA$29 billion company.

The reorganization and combining of the two roles will make it easier for the company to roll out new cloud-native services to its 100,000 employees, Gorti told Forbes, and it follows another leadership shuffle that took place in November, when Nokia scrapped the position of chief operating officer.

The shift, according to Gorti, will also help deliver a “balanced portfolio of in-house and farmed-out activities,” the story said.

Gorti has been with the company since 2016 and worked in the role of the president of Nokia Software and group CIO before Soritsch-Renier joined the company. Gorti then stepped into the role of Nokia’s chief digital officer at the start of 2019 and has been advising the group’s leadership on critical digital issues since then. 

Ursula Soritsch-Renier, Nokia’s former chief information officer. Photo from Twitter.


CIOs have evolved from merely being IT heads to being C-level movers and shakers at their firms, influencing business decisions and serving as a wellspring of knowledge for all things technological.

According to IT World Canada’s own CIO Census, CIOs are increasingly reporting to the highest levels in their organizations. Seventy-five per cent of CIOs participating in the 2019 CanadianCIO Census survey said they report to the President/CEO/ owner or CFO or another C-level exec. This is 10 per cent higher than in 2018 and 14 per cent higher than in 2017. 

Their responsibilities have expanded significantly as a result. In addition to ensuring that the security of their organization is top-grade, they also need to make sure that the company is in compliance with government rules and regulations.