Nokia's top investor has high expectations after past underperformanceNews

HELSINKI: Nokia's largest investor said on Tuesday he had high expectations of new leadership after the Finnish telecommunications equipment maker failed to reach its potential under previous leadership.

“Nokia's performance has not lived up to our expectations lately and that is of course a disappointment, but we are looking at it in the long term,” Antti Makinen, CEO of Solidium, the company told Reuters. Finnish government investment.

“The previous leadership had become a burden,” he added.

Pekka Lundmark, the new CEO, took over from Rajeev Suri in August, a month ahead of schedule. Under Suri, Nokia slashed its earnings outlook last year and halted dividend payments, after product missteps that hampered its 5G ambitions and caused its market value to drop by more than a fifth.

“We think the (CEO's) exchange alone will have a good effect,” Makinen said. "We have high expectations of Nokia and the new management that the potential we see there will be realized."

A spokeswoman for Nokia declined to comment.

Nokia also recruited a new president in May from Sari Baldauf, one of the most prominent women executives in the global telecommunications industry. She succeeded Risto Siilasmaa who chaired the Finnish cabinet for eight years.

Solidium, which became an investor in Nokia in 2018 after purchasing a 3.3% stake, now holds more than 5%.

Rival Ericsson, who also replaced much of his senior leadership in 2016, was able to capitalize on the 5G rollout faster. The two companies also took advantage of measures taken by the United States to ban Chinese Huawei from bidding on telecommunications contracts.

Nokia's financial potential had not been realized because a merger with Alcatel-Lucent took time and 5G emerged faster than carriers and businesses anticipated, Makinen said: “We don't think it will. will stay that way in the long term… Nokia has a good track record to catch up, ”he added.

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