On December 4th Nokia, the telecoms equipment maker, announced plans to appoint Sari Baldauf, the company’s former head of networking, as chairman, replacing risto Silasmaa, the current chairman. At Nokia, the chairman is the top management position. Sari Baldauf, 64, will be the world’s most high-profile female manager in the telecoms industry when she becomes Nokia’s chairman, Reuters said, with the task of catching up with rivals Huawei and Ericsson in the 5G era.
Sari Baldauf, who was in charge of Nokia’s networking business from 1998 to 2005, is now Nokia’s main business.
Sari Baldauf has been on Nokia’s board of directors since last year as a non-executive director. She is also a board member of Daimler, Deutsche Telekom and Akzo Nobel.
Sari Baldauf said in a statement that it had seen clear opportunities to achieve long-term shareholder value with CEO Rajeev Suri.
It is understood that Sari Baldauf’s appointment will need to be approved by the shareholders’ meeting on April 8 next year. At that time, Risto Silasmaa, who has been Nokia’s chairman for eight years, will step down.
Silasmaa served Nokia as a director for 12 years and as chairman for eight years. During this period, Nokia has made a number of deals that have helped reposition its business, including some fundamental strategic steps: the sale of Nokia’s mobile device business to Microsoft, the full ownership of Nokia’s Siemens telecoms infrastructure business, and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
“We are entering another turning point, a historic 5G era. Silasmaa said: “While we know that Nokia faces some short-term challenges as technology matures, I am confident that we are on the right path to solving the problem.” ”
In October, Nokia cut its 2019 and 2020 earnings forecasts because of the need to invest more in 5G. Nokia also suspended its dividend to save money.