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Nokia appoints Rajeev Suri as President and CEO

Nokia After selling its flagship device business to Microsoft, Nokia has named former networking unit head Rajeev Suri, as president and CEO.

Suri joined Nokia in 1995. His first major posting came in 2007 when he got the role- Head of Asia Pacific at Nokia Siemens Networks. Later, he headed the Nokia Solutions and Networks division. According to a Reuters report, Suri is credited with turning the unit around, and last year it contributed most of the $17.58 billion turnover Nokia made from its continuing operations. Suri’s profile also includes his experience at organizations like Churchgate Group, ICL India and Calcom Electronics.

Moves in the management

With the Microsoft deal announcement, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop stepped aside and Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman, Nokia Board of Directors had assumed as Nokia’s interim CEO. Siilasmaa will return to his Chairman post on May 1, when Suri takes over as CEO.

Elop will lead the hardware division in his new role at Microsoft. In addition, Nokia announced departures of EVP Chris Weber, Jo Harlow, Chief legal officer Louise Pentland, HR chief Juha Äkräs and corporate development Kai Öistämö and others who will join Microsoft effective May 1.

Nokia’s new focus

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The handset business of Nokia was sold to Microsoft for $7.3 billion, and was renamed Microsoft Mobile Oy. What remains of Nokia are mapping service HERE and networking solutions business NSN.

Nokia has announced a new strategy that focuses on its core mobile telecommunications infrastructure business. Its two units will invest in data traffic management, connectivity, location-based services and sensors/ low power radio technologies.

The company also announced a restructuring of its remaining business as well as a $6.9 billion capital improvement program, which includes a stock buyback, dividend boost and debt reduction.

Nokia’s Chennai Plant

It’s not clear as to what Nokia plans to do with its Chennai plant, considering that the plant is still stuck in a legal dispute as of now in Supreme Court and at Madras High Court. Last month, the company had filed a writ to the Madras High Court protesting the Rs 2,400 crore tax claim from the Tamil Nadu government. (A timeline on Nokia’s tax case here)

There were reports of Nokia leaving out the plant from Microsoft deal, reducing its status to a contract manufacturing unit. Earlier this month, Prakash Katama, Director of Nokia India’s Chennai plant had also quit the company and the position was taken up by V Sembian, head of product and process engineering.

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