Nokia’s mobile networks chief leaves in surprise move

Nokia

Nokia has rejigged its senior leadership after Samih Elhage surprisingly quit the Finland-based vendor.

Elhage, President of Nokia’s Mobile Networks business unit since December 2015, leaves the company after five years.

Nokia said he had left “to pursue new opportunities”.

President and CEO Rajeev Suri described Elhage’s contributions to Nokia during his tenure as “remarkable”.

He added: “[Elhage] has been a close friend and advisor through times both good and bad, and I fully support his desire for a change."

The outgoing exec will leave at the end of this month.

Announcing his exit, Nokia also revealed a shake-up of its structure – it is not clear when this was precipitated by his depature or whether it is the reason for it.

As of 1 April, Nokia’s Mobile Networks division will be split into two distinct businesses.

Chief Innovation and Operating Officer Marc Rouanne will head up one, which keeps the Mobile Networks name, and which will focus on products and solutions, including 4G, 5G, cloud core and small cells.

A new Global Services division, to be led by Igor LePrince, will focus on the likes of consulting, designing and integrating networks.

Other changes see the Chief Operating Officer of Fixed Networks, Monika Maurer, moving up take on a newly created Group COO role.

Group CTO Marcus Weldon takes on innovation in addition to his President of Nokia Bell Labs, while Chief Strategy Officer Kathrin Buvac adds the incubation of select new business opportunities to her portfolio.

Finally, CMO Barry French has been given responsibility for Nokia’s interests in health, safety, security and the environment.

Suri said: "[The changes] 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 saw like-for-like sale fall 10 percent to €23.9 billion last year.

Read more: Nokia CEO wants new salespeople as it signs Xiaomi deal in non-telco push

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