Rajeev Suri named as Nokia CEO

Former NSN head to spearhead focus on networking equipment business

Tags: Mergers and acquisitionsMicrosoft CorporationNokia CorporationNokia Siemens Networks
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Rajeev Suri named as Nokia CEO Suri: The world of technology is on the verge of a change that we believe will be as profound as the creation of the internet
By  Tom Paye Published  April 29, 2014

With the sale of its devices and services business to Microsoft finalised, Nokia has named Rajeev Suri as its new chief executive officer.

Suri had previously been heading Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens focused on network equipment. Having led that business since 2009, he was seen by Nokia's board as the ideal candidate to lead the company as it shifts its focus to high-grade infrastructure technology.

"As Nokia opens this new chapter, the Nokia Board and I are confident that Rajeev is the right person to lead the company forward," said Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of the Nokia board of directors.

"He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results. We believe that his passion for technology will help ensure that Nokia continues to deliver innovations that have a positive impact on people's lives."

Nokia's strategy going forward will focus on three business units, the company said in a statement. Nokia believes that, over the next 10 years, billions of connected devices will converge into intelligent and programmable systems. This will require connectivity capable of handling massive numbers of devices and increases in data traffic, location services, and new innovations in sensing, radio and low-power technologies.

Nokia's three main business units will attack these areas, with its networks division (formerly NSN) handling the connectivity side, its HERE location cloud providing location services and its technologies business developing new technologies either through R&D or acquisitions.

"The world of technology is on the verge of a change that we believe will be as profound as the creation of the internet," said Suri.

"With our three strong businesses - Networks, HERE and Technologies - and position as one of the world's largest software companies, we are well placed to meet our goal to be a leader in the technologies for a world where everybody and everything is connected."

Nokia has also announced a €5bn capital structure optimisation programme. As a result of selling its mobile devices portfolio to Microsoft, Nokia's financial position and earnings profile have both significantly improved. This, the company said, gives it the financial strength to recommence ordinary dividends, distribute deemed excess capital and reduce interest-bearing debt.

The company will also embark on a €1.25bn share repurchase plan over the next two years.

Meanwhile, former chief executive Stephen Elop has moved over to Microsoft with devices business unit, and is now executive vice president of the Microsoft devices group.

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