Finnish ICT giant Nokia announced today that it has appointed Pekka Lundmark, the outgoing president and CEO of Finnish state-owned clean energy Fortum, as its new president and CEO. Lundmark, who will assume his new role on September 1, is no stranger to Nokia, having held multiple executive positions at the company from 1990 to 2000, including Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Nokia Networks. He has also served as president and CEO of material-handling technology firm Konecranes.
Lundmark, who will take over the helm from industry veteran Rajeev Suri, is expected to lead Nokia in gaining share in the growing 5G market, something that the company has so far been unable to effectively do. He said in a statement: “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.”
Lundmark’s appointment is made with the blessing of outgoing CEO Rajeev Suri, who, according to the company, had indicated some time ago that he was ready to pass the position on if a “solid succession plan” was in place. He will leave his position on August 31 and continue to advise Nokia’s board until January 1, 2021.
During his 5-year tenure as Nokia’s CEO, Suri oversaw a consolidation of the telecommunications infrastructure sector that included the acquisition of competitor Alcatel-Lucent. He effected the turnaround of the previously unprofitable Nokia Siemens Networks, grew Nokia’s patent licensing business, and pushed its successful diversification into new software and enterprise markets. However, some analysts have singled out the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition as the cause of Nokia’s inability to gain share in the highly competitive 5G market.
In his departing statement, Suri said: “After 25 years at Nokia, I have wanted to do something different. 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.”