Nokia Appoints Rajeev Suri  New Chief Executive

Nokia Appoints Rajeev Suri New Chief Executive

HELSINKI -- Telecom maker Nokia (IW 1000/109) announced on Tuesday the appointment of Singaporean Rajeev Suri as chief executive.

The 46-year-old, originally from India, has been at Nokia since 1995, and most recently headed up Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), a joint venture with Siemens now fully-owned by the Finnish group.

Following the sale of Nokia's once iconic handset operations to Microsoft on Friday, its telecom networks business now represent 90% of the group's operations.

"As Nokia opens this new chapter, the Nokia Board and I are confident that Rajeev is the right person to lead the company forward," Nokia board chairman Risto Siilasmaa said.

"He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results."

In a biography published on the Nokia website, the group wrote that Suri had overseen an increase in the value of the telecom networks business to the tune of about eight billion euros (US$11 billion).

An electronic engineering graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology in southern India, Suri previously held management positions at ICL in India and the construction firm Churchgate Group in Nigeria.

The new chief executive -- who takes up his position on May 1 -- presented his strategy for the future of the telecom group Tuesday and said Nokia was well placed to "tap new opportunities" in a new world of technology "on the verge of a change that we believe will be as profound as the creation of the internet".

The company also announced today that it returned to profit in the first quarter, despite falling revenue, just days after officially handing over its mobile division to Microsoft.

Net profit for the first three months of 2014 was 108 million euros (US$150 million).

After completing the sale of its handset business last Friday for 5.44 billion euros, Nokia will focus on telecommunications networks and geolocation systems, which in the same period of 2013 reported losses of 98 million euros.

Revenue in the first quarter of 2014 dropped by 15%t compared to a year earlier to 2.664 billion euros, slightly under the expectations of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who had forecast 2.85 billion.

Sales were down in the strategic regions of Europe (10%) and Asia-Pacific (12%), but leaped by 34% in China, the only country to register a rise.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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