Daily Management Review

Nokia Veteran Sari Baldauf The New Nokia Chief, To Face As 5G Challenge


Nokia Veteran Sari Baldauf The New Nokia Chief, To Face As 5G Challenge
Telecoms equipment maker Nokia has selected Sari Baldauf as its new chairwoman. She will succeed Risto Siilasmaa who headed the Finnish company for eight years.
Nokia is currently facing a huge challenge of continuing in the race for securing of 5G contracts which is the biggest challenge for Baldauf, who is also known as one of the most high-profile female executives in the global telecoms industry. Nokia currently faces a tough challenge in the 5G industry from rivals Ericsson and Huawei which are putting pressure on the sales and cash reserves of the Finnish company.
The company has been struggling to deal with costs and shipment delays even as the company had cut down its dividend after a profit warning last October.
Baldauf's "wealth of experience" was applauded by Siilasmaa in a video address to shareholders for the company's annual general meeting, while also assuring that she would focus on improving financial results.
After the novel coronavirus pandemic related crisis is over, Nokia will emerge stronger than before as the company had already a very strong supply chain which included 25 factories around the globe, said the company’s outgoing Chief Executive Rajeev Suri who will hand over to PekkaLundmark in September.
 A string of delays in the development of its system-on-chip (SoC) which is an entire computer system on a single chip that helps companies to cut down on costs to a significant degree has been plaguing Nokia in recent times.
The process of integrating the former French-American rival Alcatel-Lucent, which Nokia acquired for 15.6 billion euros ($17.17 billion) in 2016, with the existing company, had not been an easy task, Suri said. He however said that process was now complete, both operationally and culturally.
"At the same time, the 5G market timeline accelerated...we had to accelerate our development efforts and this did not happen without challenges," Suri said.
64 year old Baldauf rejoined the Nokia board in 2018, after giving been associated with the company between 1994 and 2005.
She is also the last remaining executive from he team that was headed by the former chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila.  That team is credit with the transforming the Finnish company from a tiny tech unit into the world's biggest cellphone maker in the late 1990s.