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After six years in the role, Rajeev Suri is to be replaced by Fortum’s Pekka Lundmark

After a surprise profit warning in October, Nokia has recently been forced to concede that it has lost ground to its key competitors, Huawei and Ericsson, in the battle for 5G dominance. 
 
Even the US sanctions placed on Huawei, which should have been a boon for European vendors like Nokia, have not reversed the company’s fortunes, leaving it struggling as a result of its choice of expensive 5G components.
 
Last week, it was reported that Nokia had even hired strategic advisors to help them weigh their options, including potential mergers and sales, though this rumour was later debunked.
 
Now, that ongoing pressure has finally made its mark on the company’s executive roster, with the announcement that CEO Rajeev Suri will be stepping down from his position in September. 
 
“After 25 years at Nokia, I have wanted to do something different,” explained Suri, who has reportedly had an active role in selecting his replacement and will oversee the transition period later this year. 
 
Suri had been in the position six years, having previously been the head of Nokia Siemens Networks.
 
His replacement comes in the form of Pekka Lundmark (pictured), the current president and CEO of energy firm Fortum. Lundmark has worked for Nokia in various executive roles for over a decade throughout his career and has “consistently delivered robust total shareholder returns,” said Nokia in a statement.
 
Shares bounced 4.2% at the news, with analysts praising the decision as progressive and necessary.
 
“We see the CEO change as positive because in the current situation Nokia needs a bigger change, and that starts from the renewal of management,” explained Mikael Rautanen, an analyst from Inderes.
 
With Nokia also set to elect Sari Baldauf as its new chairman in April, replacing Risto Siilasmaa, the question is now whether this change of staff can help steer Nokia to calmer seas in 2020.
 
 
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