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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Turnaround man: Nokia turns to its 'rising star' in hour of need

M Rajendran , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 29, 2014
First Published: 23:36 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 07:10 IST(30/4/2014)

He drives a fancy Maserati to work and is a globetrotter. But is still an Indian national despite nearly two decades away from home.

And the new president and CEO of Nokia has promised to ask "a lot of questions," even before he assumes office.

Rajeev Suri, a 46-year-old educated at Manipal who will lead the household name from the small Finnish town of Espoo is in an understandable hurry to connect. He needs it like hell. It is important especially at a time when Microsoft has taken over its prime handset business and investors are sceptical about the future plans of what remains of the fallen telecom giant.

With 23 years of experience, Suri is a master of turnaround assignments. He revived Nokia's ailing networks division and is said to have raised the value of the business to $11 billion.

"Rajeev was identified as rising star by the management early," said Sanjeev Sharma, former India head of Nokia, who has worked with Suri who used to run Nokia's infrastructure business in India. "He can take tough decisions. Rajeev said no to a non-profitable business at a time when there was a glut in the infrastructure market and can take unpopular decisions."

It's not surprising, then, that this electronics and telecommunications engineer from Manipal Institute of Technology has announced job cuts and focussed on lucrative deals to boost earnings.

Like his counterpart at Microsoft Satya Nadella, Suri is also a graduate of the Manipal Institute of Technology affiliated to Mangalore University.

Suri's wife Nina is an entrepreneur. They have two sons. He is said to follow a strict fitness regime and reads up to five books in a week. He also wears a IWC Schaffhausen watch, worth Rs. 10 lakh.

His five-point agenda: develop Nokia's HERE maps and technologies division, move from vision to execution and identify a common culture across three business units and focus on efficient running of the day-to-day business.


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