Nokia Siemens names Samih Elhage as new COO

Nokia Siemens Networks appointed telecom industry veteran Samih Elhage to the newly created position of COO, where he will manage the vendor's transition to focus purely on mobile broadband.

Elhage will lead the company's Global Operations organization and the transition of its operations and business performance management. He will begin work March 19 and become a member of the company's executive board.

Previously, Elhage worked a senior advisor to leading private equity and global management consulting firms, focusing on investments and improving the operating performance of companies in the telecommunications sector. Before that, up until August 2010, Elhage held a number of leadership roles at Nortel Networks, including president of carrier VoIP and applications solutions and vice president of corporate business operations. He also did stints in the 1990s at Bell Canada, where he held multiple management and leadership roles relating to network development. 

"Samih brings a great deal of telecommunications, operations, business transformation and management experience to our new role of chief operating officer," NSN CEO Rajeev Suri said in a statement. "With our strategy clearly defined and restructuring underway, I am particularly pleased to have Samih join us to focus on driving operational excellence as well as improving our overall mode of operations."

Elhage will be tasked with managing NSN's decision to shift its focus to mobile broadband, a process that will involve selling or discontinuing several businesses. NSN said in November it would undergo a major restructuring and that it will slash up to 17,000 jobs by the end of 2013. The vendor said last month it expects to take substantial charges in the first quarter related to the restructuring. Since that November announcement NSN has sold several of its business units. In December it sold its wireline business to Adtran and its WiMAX business NewNet Communication Technologies, which is backed by private equity firm Skyview Capital. In November, NSN sold its microwave business unit to DragonWave.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article

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