Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia. Photo from Nokia.

Published: March 2nd, 2020

Rajeev Suri will be stepping down after serving as the president and chief executive officer of Nokia for more than a decade, the company announced today.

Suri will leave his position on August 21, 2020, and continue to serve as an advisor to the Nokia board until January 1, 2021. Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Fortum – an energy company based in Finland – will proceed to the role and is expected to start on Sept. 1.

Prior to Fortum, Lundmark served as president and CEO of Konecranes, a global material-handling technology company, and he held multiple executive positions at Nokia from 1990 to 2000, including vice-president of strategy and business development at Nokia Networks. He will be based in Espoo, Finland.

As one of the world’s top three telecom gear vendors, Nokia has been locked in a fierce battle with Huawei and Ericsson for years but has struggled to capitalize on potential opportunities.

As of February, Ericsson and Nokia had notched 81 and 68 5G contracts, respectively. Huawei has won 91 contracts.

“After 25 years at Nokia, I have wanted to do something different,” Suri said in a press release. “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. 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.”

Suri indicated earlier to the board of directors that he was considering stepping down from his role at some point in the future. The company’s board has been working closely with Suri to develop internal candidates and identify external candidates. That process culminated today when they made the decision to move forward with Lundmark’s appointment, Nokia stated in the press release. 

“With the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent behind us and the world of 5G in front of us, I am pleased that Pekka has agreed to join Nokia,” said Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia board chair, in the press release. “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.”

 

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