Nokia has announced a change in CEO and President, with Pekka Lundmark replacing Rajeev Suri.
Nokia has been struggling to find its footing in the 5G marketplace, as it has been eclipsed by rivals Ericsson and Huawei. To make matters worse for the company, Huawei has been dealing with a U.S. ban and various European countries that are either undecided or have only agreed to use Huawei in a limited role. With Huawei’s troubles, Nokia had a prime opportunity to jump out to an early lead in the 5G market, but has failed to do so. Nokia’s troubles have even sparked discussion the company could sell off some of its assets, or even try to merge with Ericsson.
By tapping Lundmark as the new CEO, Nokia is bringing back an executive with a long history with the company, likely in the hopes that someone with Lundmark’s background and understanding of the company’s DNA will help return it to its former glory. From 1990 to 2000, Lundmark held multiple positions, including Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Nokia Networks.
“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. “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.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Nokia, an extraordinary company that has so much potential and so many talented people,” said Lundmark. “Together we can create shareholder value by delivering on Nokia’s mission to create the technology to connect the world. I am confident that the company is well-positioned for the 5G era and it is my goal to ensure that we meet our commitments to our customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. Strong values, leading innovation and unflinching commitment to our customers have always been core to Nokia and I want to put this even more at our center as we move forward.”