Nokia’s Ed Cholerton heads North American business

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In other changes, Nokia appointed John Harrington as Head of Asia-Pacific and Japan.

As part of Nokia’s corporate overhaul, the Finnish vendor promoted Ed Cholerton to market head of North American Customer Experience.

Cholerton’s new role focuses on the U.S. and Canada, giving him overall responsibility for customer success and North American sales, according to a Nokia spokesperson. That includes responsibility for relevant parts of in-region customer operations, marketing, and customer quality.

Previously Senior VP of Sales in charge of AT&T’s account, Cholerton stepped into the role following a year that saw Nokia lose share at one large North American customer. In Q3 Nokia said it was unable to convert its 4G footprint to 5G with the unnamed customer, speculated to be Verizon. Verizon awarded Samsung a $6.6 billion network contract last year.

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Still, Nokia’s North American business is expansive. Before joining Nokia in 2014, Cholerton spent time at Ericsson, Microsoft, and more than two decades at AT&T. He takes over for Ricky Corker who as of January started the position of Nokia’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. Corker had been president of customer operations for the Americas after serving as Nokia’s market head for North America.

Corker’s move to oversee the newly created Customer Experience organization was announced in October, coinciding with the first phase of CEO Pekka Lundmark’s broad organizational revamp that went into effect at the start of the year.

The segment “was created to provide a common interface with customers and will act as the voice of customers across all business groups,” Nokia said.

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In other recent personnel changes, Nokia appointed John Harrington as head of Asia-Pacific and Japan, effective January 4. He took over from Jae Won who shifted to lead the Mobile Networks business group for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Greater China and India.

Nokia’s business groups and leadership has seen an overhaul since Lundmark started as CEO in August. Last month Nishant Batra was named corporate CTO and strategy chief, with long-time CTO and Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon stepping down.  

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Nokia has navigated some bumpy waters and already warned of challenges in 2021. In a December update Lundmark cited pockets of growth opportunities, such as enterprise wireless, and expectations for 5G to benefit its Network Infrastructure unit with requirements for more transport capacity.

There are three phases to Nokia’s new streamlined strategy and additional details are expected at a Capital Markets Day planned for March 18.