Nokia CEO Names Lieutenants as Alcatel Takeover Progresses

  • Rouanne to be innovation chief, Elhage to run mobile networks
  • Submarine-cable unit to be run separately as IPO is scrapped

Nokia Oyj Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri named his top lieutenants for a new structure following the $17.6 billion takeover of Alcatel-Lucent SA, relying on the Finnish company’s own managers for most of the key roles.

Marc Rouanne, now executive vice president at Nokia, will become chief innovation and operating officer, Nokia said Wednesday. Ashish Chowdhary, currently chief business officer, will be chief customer operations officer. Timo Ihamuotila will remain chief financial officer.

Marc Rouanne
Marc Rouanne
Source: Nokia Oyj

Nokia is buying its French competitor to broaden its product offering and reduce costs, seeking to take on Ericsson AB of Sweden and China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Suri said last month government approvals for the acquisition are progressing faster than expected, with key nods from China and France remaining. The company expects to complete the deal in the first half of next year.

Samih Elhage, the operating chief of Nokia’s networks unit, will lead a business that combines the two companies’ wireless-infrastructure assets. Federico Guillen, now president of Alcatel-Lucent’s division supplying landline products such as copper and fiber broadband infrastructure, will head the fixed-networks unit. Alcatel-Lucent executive Basil Alwan will run an Internet routing and optical transport division.

Ashish Chowdhary, currently chief business officer, will be chief customer operations officer.
Ashish Chowdhary, currently chief business officer, will be chief customer operations officer.
Source: Nokia Oyj

Nokia’s statement didn’t mention Alcatel-Lucent executives including Philippe Keryer, the French company’s innovation and strategy chief, and Chief Operating Officer Philippe Guillemot. Representatives for Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment on positions beyond the press release.

Michel Combes left his role as Alcatel-Lucent’s CEO on Aug. 31 to become chief operating officer of Altice NV, the investment vehicle of cable billionaire Patrick Drahi. Jean Raby, Alcatel-Lucent’s finance chief, said in July he expected to leave the company after helping to execute the combination with Nokia.

Nokia said it expects to keep operating Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine-cables business as a separate entity. Alcatel-Lucent said Tuesday it abandoned a plan to divest the unit, having sounded out buyers over the past few years.

Nokia shares traded 0.7 percent higher at 6.29 euros at 11:31 a.m. in Helsinki. Alcatel-Lucent rose 1.3 percent to 3.39 euros in Paris.

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