Nokia Names Rajeev Suri As New CEO -- Drops the NSN Brandname

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Nokia has named the head of its NSN division Rajeev Suri as President and CEO of the entire Group.

The long-expected announcement follows the completion of the sale of the handsets division to Microsoft last week, leaving Nokia made up mostly of NSN, alongside its IP and mapping divisions.

The company is also dropping the Nokia Solutions and Networks, or NSN brandname, and the company will adopt the Nokia Networks identity.

"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."

Siilasmaa, who has also been serving as an interim CEO, will return to focusing exclusively on his role as Chairman of Nokia's Board of Directors as of May 1, 2014.

"We are committed to effective deployment of capital to drive future value creation," said Timo Ihamuotila, who is currently Nokia's Chief Financial Officer and who has been appointed to serve as the Group Chief Financial Officer as of May 1, 2014. "We believe our planned comprehensive EUR 5 billion capital structure optimization program enables Nokia to make quick and orderly progress towards a more efficient capital structure, and is aligned with the long-term interests of our customers and shareholders."

The company plans to spend EUR2.25 billion on share repurchases and dividend payments to shareholders. There will also be a plan to reduce debt by EUR2 billion by the end of the second quarter 2016..

Nokia ended the first quarter 2014 with gross cash of EUR 6.9 billion and net cash of EUR 2.1 billion compared to EUR 9 billion and EUR 2.3 billion, respectively, at the end of the fourth quarter 2013. The sequential decline in Nokia's gross cash was primarily due to repayment of certain debt facilities totalling approximately EUR 1.8 billion during the first quarter 2014. If the transaction to sell Microsoft substantially all of the Devices & Services business would have closed before the end of the first quarter 2014, Nokia would have ended the quarter with gross cash of approximately EUR 10.5 billion and net cash of approximately EUR 7.1 billion.

The current Nokia Leadership Team will be disbanded.

On April 25, 2014, Stephen Elop, Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber stepped down from the Nokia Leadership Team and transferred to Microsoft.

In addition, Louise Pentland, Juha Äkräs and Kai Öistämö will leave the company to pursue opportunities outside of Nokia. Pentland, Äkräs and Öistämö will continue to serve Nokia in an advisory role during a transition period. Of the current Nokia Leadership Team members, Timo Ihamuotila, Michael Halbherr and Henry Tirri will continue as members of the Group Leadership Team.

"Nokia has a strong and proven team of leaders," said Rajeev Suri. "We intend to move fast to further refine our execution plan, build the right company culture, and institute the necessary operational governance and performance management systems."

 

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