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There's a new chief in town and his job will be to pick Nokia up by the bootstraps and kick the company into gear. After selling off its mobile handset business to Microsoft and reporting a less than stellar quarterly earnings report, Nokia on Tuesday promoted Rajeev Suri to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a promotion that will go into effect on May 1, 2014.
Highlighting Suri's challenge moving ahead is the fact that Nokia's net sales fell 15 percent year-over-year to €2.7 billion (around $3.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2014. On the bright side, the company's underlying profit rose 20 percent €304 (around $420.4 million), so things could certainly be worse. Going forward, Nokia views its post-Microsoft sale as the beginning of a new era.
"As Nokia opens this new chapter, the Nokia Board and I are confident that Rajeev is the right person to lead the company forward," said Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors. "He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results. We believe that his passion for technology will help ensure that Nokia continues to deliver innovations that have a positive impact on people's lives."
Suri has been with Nokia for 1995. During that time, he's held a range of leadership positions within the company, most recently serving as CEO of NSN, the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens that's now fully owned by Nokia.
"I am honored to have been asked to take this role, and excited about the possibilities that lie in our future," said Rajeev Suri. "Nokia, with its deep experience in connecting people and its three strong businesses, is well-positioned to tap new opportunities during this time of technological change. I look forward to working with the entire Nokia team as we embark on this exciting journey."
There are three areas Nokia says it will focus on. They include connectivity capable of handling massive numbes of devices and exponential increases in data traffic, location services that seamlessly bridge between the real and virtual worlds, and innovation (things like sensing, radio, and low power technologies).