After a career spanning 25 years at Nokia, Rajeev Suri – the Indian-Singaporean who has led the networking giant as CEO and President since 2014 – has decided to step down from his role. Suri will be replaced by Pekka Lundmark, the current President and CEO of energy firm Fortum. He will come on board as Suri’s replacement in September of this year.
In a statement, Nokia said that Suri had expressed his desire to step down from his role and the two have worked together to make the transition as smooth as possible. Suri said that after his long stint at the company he “wanted to do something different”. He will vacate his position on August 31 and make way for Lundmark to come aboard from September 1.
“Nokia will always be part of me, and I want to thank everyone that I have worked with over the years for helping make Nokia a better place and me a better leader. I leave the company with a belief that a return to better performance is on the horizon and with pride for what we have accomplished over time. Pekka is an excellent choice for Nokia. I look forward to working with him on a smooth transition and wish him the best success in his new role,” said Suri, in a statement.
- Rajeev Suri was born in New Delhi, India but grew up in Kuwait and is a Singaporean citizen based in Espoo, Finland.
- Suri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Electronics and Communications) from Manipal Institute of Technology.
- He joined Nokia in 1995 after working at various multinational corporations in India and Nigeria.
- After Simon Beresford-Wylie stepped down as CEO of the newly merged Nokia Siemens Networks, Suri replaced him at the helm in 2009.
- In 2011, Suri oversaw a tough period for cash-strapped Nokia when the company announced it planned to cut 17,000 jobs by the end of 2013. This allowed the company to trim operating expenses by $1.35 billion.
- He also oversaw the purchase of Motorola’s mobile and Network equipment business in 2010.
- Suri took over as CEO in 2014 after Nokia bought back full control of Nokia Siemens Networks and sold its mobile division to Microsoft Mobile.
- Suri is only the second non-Finnish CEO after Stephen Elop
- Suri is also one of those rare executives that has prospered without an MBA degree.
- Nokia’s board had worked closely with Suri to develop both internal and external candidates before Lundmark was chosen for the role.
- Suri will serve as an advisor on the Nokia Board until January next year.