Nokia’s mobile networks business group will be split into two units as its president Samih Elhage, who held the post since end-2015, steps down.
The vendor said with the integration of Alcatel-Lucent complete, Elhage “decided to pursue new opportunities”. He will continue in the role until 1 April 2017, and will remain as an advisor to the company until 31 May.
Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said Elhage was one of the “driving forces” behind the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent and its fast and successful integration, adding: “He has been a close friend and advisor through times both good and bad, and I fully support his desire for a change.”
The company announced its mobile networks business group will be split into “two distinct, but closely linked, organisations” – one focused on products and solutions called Mobile Networks, and the other on services named Global Services.
Marc Rouanne, currently chief innovation and operating officer, will become president of the mobile networks business group, responsible for products and solutions including 4G, 5G and small cells.
Igor Leprince, the current EVP of Global Services, will become the division’s president. All changes are effective from 1 April.
“These changes are designed to accelerate the execution of our strategy,” said Suri. “They will strengthen our ability to deliver strong financial performance, drive growth in services, meet changing customer demands in mobile networks, achieve our cost saving and ongoing transformation goals, and enable strategic innovation across our networks business.”
In its Q4 2016 results, sales on a combined company (non-IFRS) basis declined 13 per cent year-on-year from €7.7 billion to €6.7 billion, with sales in the Networks business down 14 per cent to €6.1 billion. The Networks weakness was attributed to challenging market conditions in Q4 2016, and a difficult comparison against a strong quarter for Alcatel-Lucent in 2015.
Suri said Nokia ended 2016 having shifted from being mobile focused to covering a range of fixed, mobile and software sectors.
Combined company operating profit of €940 million during the quarter was down 27 per cent from €1.3 billion in Q4 2015. This was attributed to higher costs in areas including R&D, selling, general and administrative, which was partially offset by higher gross profit, all primarily related to the Alcatel-Lucent deal.