Nokia to create unified access networks unit, with no leader yet named

Nokia to create unified access networks unit, with no leader yet named

Marc Rouanne 16x9.jpg

Nokia is merging the management of its fixed networks and mobile networks units into a single division – and Marc Rouanne (pictured) has lost the fight to lead the unified access networks division.

However, Nokia says there will still be mobile networks and fixed networks business groups, but they will now both be part of access networks. It has not yet decided who will lead the unified operation, but has said Rouanne (pictured), president of mobile networks, is “to step down from group leadership team and leave Nokia”.

President and CEO Rajeev Suri said: “By creating a single access networks organisation that includes both fixed and mobile, we can improve our customer focus, simplify our management structure, and more efficiently leverage our full portfolio.”

It is not just the whole access networks division for which Nokia has failed to appoint a leader; it is also waiting to announce who will lead the fixed networks unit within it.

The only clear decision to come out of the company – apart from Rouanne’s departure – is that Tommi Uitto is appointed president of mobile networks in place of Rouanne. Nokia said: “Uitto is a 23-year Nokia veteran, an expert in radio technologies, and well-known to customers around the world.”

Since Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent – a deal finalised two years ago this month – Uitto has been leading mobile networks product sales.

Nokia has been in two minds about fixed networks for years. It used to have an optical networks division, acquired when it merged with the networks operation of Siemens in 2006, but decided to sell that off to Tellabs, now Coriant. However it got a whole new fixed network operation with the Alcatel-Lucent merger two years ago, as well as Alcatel Submarine Networks, the subsea division that Alcatel-Lucent had been trying unsuccessfully to float off or sell off before the Nokia takeover. 

Rouanne was notable at the top of Nokia in that he once worked for Alcatel-Lucent. He was COO and president of the US-French company’s wireless business group, though he moved to what was then Nokia Siemens Networks at the start of this decade.

Suri gave the briefest of tributes to Rouanne: “I want to thank Marc for his contributions to Nokia and wish him well in the future.”

The changes, announced as the US shuts down for the long Thanksgiving weekend, will take effect on 1 January.




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