Former Nokia boss Rajeev Suri (pictured) was appointed as CEO of satellite communications provider Inmarsat, replacing Rupert Pearce who will step down on 28 February after nine years in the role.

In a statement, Inmarsat said Suri would become CEO and join the board of Inmarsat’s parent company’s Connect Bidco from 1 March. Pearce will provide advisory services to Suri for a transitional period.

Suri left Nokia in August 2020 after six years as president and CEO, and a broader stint spanning 25 years with the Finnish vendor. He was replaced by former energy company boss Pekka Lundmark.

Inmarsat pointed to Suri’s achievements as Nokia boss, including his role in leading consolidation of the network infrastructure sector from ten players to three in just over a decade.

It also lauded Suri’s role in establishing Nokia’s 5G leadership and diversifying into new areas including software.

However, Suri’s departure from Nokia came at a time when he was under increasing pressure to improve its balance sheet, with reports at the time stating it was considering potential asset sales and merger activity.

Following his departure Antti Makinen, CEO of Nokia’s largest shareholder Solidium, hit out at the vendor’s former management, stating it had been a burden on the company.

Commenting on his new role, Suri said he was excited to join the company at an important moment for the satellite industry as a whole.

At the start of the year, Suri was named an independent director of Asian operator Singtel.