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Nokia names India-born Rajeev Suri as new CEO

Agencies  Helsinki, April 29, 2014
First Published: 09:41 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:49 IST(29/4/2014)

Nokia named the man who led a turnaround at its main telecoms network business as its new chief executive on Tuesday, boosting investors' confidence in the future of the company following the sale of its once dominant handset arm.

The Finnish firm, which completed the $7.8-billion deal to sell its mobile handset business to Microsoft on Friday, said Rajeev Suri would become its CEO on May 1, replacing Stephen Elop who is moving to Microsoft.

Nokia's first-quarter operating profit from the networks business grew 10% from a year ago to $299 million, topping forecasts, driven by cost-cutting and software deals. .

"Suri has done a very commendable job in turning around NSN, in our view. Thus, we see the market being positive about his appointment," JP Morgan Cazenove analysts said.

Suri, a 46-year-old Indian national, was expected to lead the company following the sale of the handset business. Nokia's networks division accounted for 90% of sales from the group's continuing businesses last year.

"Nokia, with its deep experience in connecting people and its three strong businesses, is well positioned to tap new opportunities during this time of technological change," said Suri.

Like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Suri is also an engineering graduate from Manipal.

Asked about potential acquisitions, Suri said small ones were possible. "In terms of larger players, if there is something that makes sense, of course I will recommend that to the board. But it needs to be a wisely thought-out. We will be open to the opportunities but (there's) no need to rush."

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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