BrandArena: Nokia Names New CEO, plans for a EUR 5 billion capital structure

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Nokia Names New CEO, plans for a EUR 5 billion capital structure

Just days after signing over its handset business to Microsoft, Nokia revealed poor first quarter earnings, appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, revealed strategic plans for the future.

New CEO of Nokia Corporation, Rajeev Suri
Nokia Board of Directors appointed Rajeev Suri as President and CEO of Nokia Corporation, effective May 1, 2014. Suri joined Nokia in 1995 and has held a wide range of leadership positions in the company. Since October of 2009, he has served as CEO of NSN, the former joint venture between Nokia and Siemens that is now fully owned by Nokia. During his tenure as CEO, that business went through a radical transformation to become one of the leaders in the telecommunications infrastructure industry.

"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. We believe that his passion for technology will help ensure that Nokia continues to deliver innovations that have a positive impact on people's lives."

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.

The ailing company's revenue fell to €2.7 billion ($3.7 billion) in the first three months of the year—a 15 percent loss over Q1 2013. Nokia also counted €326 million ($452 million) in operating losses, compared with €120 million ($166 million) last year.

Its handset division, now under Redmond's care, also dropped 30 percent to €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion), a loss that could have been avoided, Nokia said, if not for the delayed Microsoft deal, which would have earned the Finnish company a windfall in March.

According to the interim earnings report, an on-time closing could have reaped Nokia €10.5 billion ($14.5 billion) gross cash, €7.1 billion ($9.8 billion) net cash, €250 million ($347 million) in support payments, and a hefty first-quarter win.

Nokia believes that over the next 10 years billions of connected devices will converge into intelligent and programmable systems that will have the potential to improve lives in a vast number of areas: time and availability, transportation and resource consumption, learning and work, health and wellness, and many more.

"Nokia's strategy is to develop its three businesses in order to realize its vision of being a technology leader in a connected world and, in turn, create long-term shareholder value," said Rajeev Suri. "Our goal is to optimize the company so that each business is best enabled to meet its goals. Where it makes sense to do so, we will pursue shared opportunities between the businesses, but not at the expense of focus and discipline in each."

To improve the efficiency of Nokia's capital structure, the Nokia Board is today announcing plans for a EUR 5 billion capital structure optimization program which focuses on recommencing ordinary dividends, distributing deemed excess capital to shareholders, and reducing interest bearing debt.

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