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Rajeev Suri to take over as Nokia CEO and president

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NEW DELHI: Rajeev Suri, who is taking over as the new president and CEO of Nokia, says the company will focus on three strong businesses – Networks, HERE (location cloud) and Technologies to position itself as one of the world’s largest software companies.

The new appointment follows the completion of the divestment of phone business to Microsoft in a $7.2 billion deal.

Apart from Suri, the new team will include Timo Ihamuotila who joins as executive vice president and group CFO; Michael Halbherr as CEO of HERE; Henry Tirri as executive VP, and acting head of technologies and Samih Elhage as executive VP and chief financial and operating officer of Networks.

The old team included Stephen Elop, Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber who have already stepped down. Louise Pentland, Juha Akras and Kai Oistamo will step down from Nokia next month.

Suri had recently turned round Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), the telecom network business, by axing around 17,000 resources, divesting non-viable businesses and bringing clarity to its mobile broadband focus. The NSN brand will disappear as part of the new restructuring and will be known as Nokia Network business. Suri will continue to head this business.

Nokia without the ailing phone business will focus on networks, location and technologies. Suri will draft fresh strategies for leadership position as NSN is behind Ericsson and Huawei in telecom network business.

Suri joined Nokia in 1995 and has held a range of leadership positions in the company. Since October 2009, he has served as CEO of NSN, the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens that is now fully owned by Nokia.

Suri was instrumental in creating strategic clarity, driving innovation and growth, ensuring disciplined execution.

India-born Suri is the second to be elevated to a major post in an IT company in recent weeks, as vendor Microsoft had recently picked up Satya Nadella as its CEO.

Nokia believes that billions of connected devices will converge into intelligent and programmable systems over the next decade that will have the potential to improve lives in a vast number of areas: time and availability, transportation and resource consumption, learning and work, health, and wellness.

This new world of technology will require connectivity capable of handling massive numbers of devices and exponential increases in data traffic; location services that seamlessly bridge between the real and virtual worlds; and innovation, including in sensing, radio and low power technologies.

“Where it makes sense to do so, we will pursue shared opportunities between the businesses, but not at the expense of focus and discipline in each,” Suri added.

In 2013, Nokia invested 2.5 billion euros in research and development.

Through its networks business (formerly NSN), Nokia will invest in the innovative products and services needed by telecom operators to manage the increase in wireless data traffic which is more than doubling every year.

Nokia will invest in mobile broadband and related services and next-generation network technologies.

Nokia will invest to develop its location cloud to make it the leading source of location intelligence and experiences across many different operating systems, platforms and screen. The focus will be on technology for smart, connected cars; cloud-based services for personal mobility and location intelligence, including for the growing segment of wearables and special purpose devices; and location-based analytics for better business decisions.

Nokia plans to reduce interest bearing debt by around 2 billion euros by the end of the second quarter 2016.

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