Nokia names India-born Rajeev Suri as new CEO

“The Nokia that I grew up in, and that many of you grew up in, is no more,” declared Rajeev Suri as he prepared to take over the new Nokia, now without the handset business that made it such a global brand. India-born Suri will make an official start to his job as chief executive and president of the telecom gear maker on May 1, the company announced, with Nokia having completed the sale of its handset and services business to Microsoft Corp for $7.5 billion.
This isn’t the first time that Nokia has changed its business profile, having begun as a wood pulp mill 148 years ago, becoming a maker of rubber boots in 1898 and emerging as the world leader in mobile phones a century later.
Suri, 46, has been given the responsibility for making sure that this latest makeover is a successful one for the Espoo, Helsinkibased firm. He was entrusted with the job after turning around the group’s ailing networks business that he began heading in 2009. That was achieved through a restructuring of the business that saw it shedding loss-making units. The electronics and telecom engineer will run a company that has three main focus areas networks, navigation and patents.
is elevation comes close on the heels of another India-born engineer, Satya Nadella, being recently appointed as CEO of Microsoft Corp. Both are alumni of the Mani0pal Institute of Technology (MIT) in Karnataka, where friends remember Suri as a sharp, focused and instinctive student who used to work hard and enjoy life in equal measure. “He is one of the Crabs, our group of eight friends, who used to pull up each other in college and still do, even today,” said Vishal Swara, who was Suri’s classmate and hostel roommate and is now managing director at Gurgaon’s SLV Security Services.