Nokia names veteran exec Ricky Corker to lead North America after Alcatel-Lucent deal closes

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) said Ricky Corker will become the head of its North American business following the close of its $16.8 billion deal to buy rival Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

Ricky Corker Nokia North America head


Corker, a Nokia veteran with more than 10 years of experience at the company, currently serves as executive vice president for North America and chairman of SAC Wireless at Nokia Networks. (Nokia bought SAC Wireless, a wireless network equipment installation specialist, last year.)

In his new role, Corker will oversee the combined company's customer operations across North America and will be responsible for executing the company's strategy in the region. Corker will report to Ashish Chowdhary, Nokia's chief customer operations officer.

"We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ricky Corker as designated Head of North America," Chowdhary said in a statement. "He brings valuable global and regional experience and expertise, and would be a great asset to the management team."

The proposed appointment is effective only after the deal closes, which the vendors expect to occur in the first quarter of 2016.

Despite the positive financial progress the companies have made recently, large job cuts are likely coming, especially in the firm's wireless units. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri, who will lead the combined company, has already said that "radio is where the heavy lifting will take place in wireless and that's where we need to integrate and there of course will be some struggles during the process."

It's unclear how many cuts will come in North America, but the region is important to both companies, and especially Alcatel-Lucent. North America accounted for 41.3 percent of Alcatel-Lucent's total revenue in the third quarter, compared to around 12.9 percent for Nokia's networks business. Still, both have large carrier customers in the market and will likely rely on U.S. carriers' deployment of AWS-3 spectrum and transition to 5G networks as catalysts for growth in the years ahead.

For more:
- see this release

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