Nokia’s CMO to depart at end of 2020

Nokia CMO Barry French (Nokia)

Nokia’s new CEO Pekka Lundmark posted on LinkedIn today that the company’s Chief Marketing Office Barry French will be stepping down at the end of 2020.

Lundmark wrote: “I appreciate the support he has given me since I took on the role of Nokia CEO, particularly given that I know he has been considering a change. All of Nokia owes him their thanks, and he leaves with my respect, appreciation and gratitude.”

He didn’t indicate whether the CMO position would be filled.

French has been with Nokia since 2006, playing a part in the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent and taking responsibility for the Nokia brand in 2014.

Since taking over as CEO in August, replacing longtime CEO Rajeev Suri, Lundmark has shaken up the company’s organization.

During its third quarter 2020 earnings call, Lundmark said Nokia would ditch its “end-to-end” strategy, in favor of a focused approach. He unveiled a reorganization plan that will take effect January 1, 2021. It creates four new business groups: Mobile Networks, IP and Fixed Networks, Cloud and Network Services, and Nokia Technologies.

Tommi Uitto, current president of mobile networks, will lead the new Mobile Networks division, which includes the full portfolio for mobile access network customers. It will focus on leadership in 5G, O-RAN and vRAN.

Federico Guillén, currently president of Customer Operations for EMEA & APAC regions, has been named president of IP and Fixed Networks. That group will include the current IP Routing, Optical and Fixed Networks, as well as Alcatel Submarine Networks business.

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Raghav Sahgal, who was appointed to president of Nokia’s Enterprise business in May, will head up the new Cloud and Network Services group. That consists of the existing Nokia Software business, (not including Mobile Networks network management), enterprise solutions, core network solutions and managed services. Certain products from other business groups will be delivered to enterprise customers via the new business group. 

Jenni Lukander will continue to head the Nokia Technologies group, which remains largely unchanged.

Nokia’s also adding a Customer Experience organization, led by Ricky Corker, to work with customers across all business groups.

During the company’s third quarter 2020 earnings call, Lundmark said, “We have lost share at one large North American customer,” possibly referring to Verizon. Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Verizon was considering replacing Nokia as a 5G vendor, and in September Verizon awarded a massive $6.6 billion network agreement to Samsung.