Finnish vendor creates new Global Services unit; mobile networks president Samih Elhage resigns.

Nokia on Friday restructured its mobile networks business and announced that the division’s president, Samih Elhage, will leave the company.

The Finnish kit maker is separating the unit into two organisations: Mobile Networks, which will focus on hardware and solutions; and a dedicated services business, called Global Services.

Marc Rouanne, who currently serves as chief innovation and operating officer (CIOO), will become president of Mobile Networks, while Global Services will be headed up by Igor Leprince, whose current role is EVP of Global Services, which until now has resided within the Mobile Networks division.

"These changes are designed to accelerate the execution of our strategy," said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri, in a statement. "They will strengthen our ability to deliver strong financial performance, drive growth in services, meet changing customer demands in mobile networks, achieve our cost saving and ongoing transformation goals, and enable strategic innovation across our networks business."

Nokia is also dividing the CIOO responsibilities among several senior managers.

The innovation activities have been delegated to CTO and Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon, who will join Nokia’s global leadership team, and report to Suri.

Monika Maurer, currently COO of the Fixed Networks business, will become Nokia’s newly-appointed group COO, taking overall responsibility for the company’s operating activities.

Finally, chief strategy officer Kathrin Buvac will assume additional responsibilities for the incubation of select new business opportunities, which until now also fell under the remit of the CIOO.

With these changes, and the integration of Alcatel-Lucent largely complete, Smih Elhage has decided to leave the company, Nokia said.

Elhage joined the vendor as COO in 2012, when it was still Nokia Siemens Networks. He was tasked with overseeing the transformation of the company into a mobile broadband specialist.

"I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during my time at Nokia and leave confident that the company is extremely well-positioned for the future," Elhage said.

"From helping lead the transformation at Nokia Siemens Networks and creating a disciplined operating model that remains a competitive advantage, to being one of the driving forces behind the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent and its fast and successful integration, Samih’s contributions to Nokia have been remarkable," Suri added.

"He has been a close friend and advisor through times both good and bad, and I fully support his desire for a change."