Telecom Giant Nokia Names New CFO

On Thursday, telecom system supplier Nokia named a replacement finance chief, the newest shuffle of the Finnish company’s leadership ranks.

Marco Wirén will assume the CFO post on September 1, replacing outgoing finance chief Kristian Pullola, who will remain with the corporate until the tip of the year to assist the transition, Nokia said during a statement. Pullola has been with Nokia for 21 years and was named CFO in 2017.

Wirén joins Nokia from Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä. Wirén is currently president of Wärtsilä Energy and executive vice-chairman of Wärtsilä Group. Previously, he was CFO of Wärtsilä Group, finance chief for Swedish steelmaker SSAB and CFO of Stockholm-based telecom company Eltel Networks.

The CFO appointment comes as Nokia, the world’s second-largest telecom system producer behind China’s Huawei Technologies, prepares for a replacement CEO. Earlier this year, Nokia announced that Pekka Lundmark would take over as chief executive on September 1, replacing Rajeev Suri, a 25-year veteran of the corporate and CEO since 2014. Lundmark will make Nokia from Finnish energy company Fortum where he's CEO. “I am pleased that Marco is joining us to require the reins of Nokia together with our future CEO, Pekka Lundmark,” Suri said during a statement. “I initiated the succession planning with the Board’s support and, as Nokia’s next CEO, Pekka led the trouble to its completion with the choice of Marco.” Earlier this year, Nokia eliminated the role of group chief information officer, last held by Ursula Soritsch-Renier, as a part of a broader reorganization.

Along with Sweden’s Ericsson, Nokia is one of Huawei’s biggest competitors amid the shift to the fifth generation of cellular networking technology, commonly called 5G. The move to 5G, which had been slower than expected, is touted as an important building block to advances in everything from mobile phones to driverless vehicles and automatic warehouses. During the primary three months of the year, Nokia saw sales slip 2% to 4.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion).