Nokia has announced that it will abolish the Chief Operating Officer (COO) role within the company.
As a result, the current COO, Joerg Erlemeier, will leave as of January 1, 2020, following 25 years with Nokia. The COO’s various functions will be distributed among other Nokia leaders.
“Joerg has been a long-time, trusted colleague,” said Nokia President and Chief Executive Officer, Rajeev Suri. “He leaves the company with my thanks and deep appreciation for his many important contributions.”
“After 25 years at Nokia, I am ready to take on new challenges,” said Erlemeier. “While the company is in the midst of a transition, I leave firm in my belief that the right plan is in place to improve future performance. I wish the company and all my colleagues the very best.”
Nokia did not elaborate on the position being dissolved but the move comes as Nokia faces challenges.
Last month, the Finnish giant saw the sharpest fall in share price since 1991 (24%), following lowered earnings and margin expectations for the year.
Suri cited issues such as price competition being particularly stiff in China and uncertainty in the US market caused by the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US, which has dragged on for months and faces legal challenges.
Further, he noted the cost of producing 5G equipment is high as the market is immature and not yet at full scale.