Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri is stepping down after over six years as the face of the company, Nokia said on Monday. The company has already found a replacement who will succeed Suri from September 1st.
The company said Suri had been considering the move for some time now and was staying in place as the company finds a successor. Nokia said they considered both internal and external individuals to take over the role of CEO and settled for Pekka Lundmark, who currently holds the position as the President and CEO of Fortum, a Finnish energy firm.
It is, however, not surprising that Nokia’s CEO chose to step down barely a week after the media and investors started scrutinizing his role at the company.
The Finnish tech company has had a rough time since last year. Shares have dropped nearly half since March 2019. The firm has also eased its expectations recently and even paused paying out dividends in October 2019 as they continue to invest heavily in 5G development.
Nokia, one of the world’s biggest telecom equipment maker, has come under scrutiny for failing to capitalize on 5G opportunity as its biggest rival from China – Huawei – was banned in the US over the security of their equipment.
Despite the problems Huawei has faced, the world’s largest telco equipment maker announced they had acquired 91 commercial 5G contracts, according to a report released on February 20th. Nokia, on the other hand, says they have won 68 contracts, which places the company in the third position after Ericsson, which boasts 81 contracts to date.
“I am confident that the company is well-positioned for the 5G era and it is my goal to ensure that we meet our commitments to our customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Pekka Lundmark in a statement.