Nokia announced on Tuesday that its chairman Risto Siilasmaa would step down in April 2020 and will be replaced by former executive vice president Sari Baldauf.
Siilasmaa was Nokia's chairman for eight years. The announcement of Siilasmaa's stepping down from the role has also made many speculate that the mobile phone maker is planning to revamp its strategy.
Executives continue to leave Nokia
Nokia has been suffering for a while now. In October, the company's chief executive officer Rajiv Suri cut its profit outlook for 2020 citing reasons that it needs to invest more in its 5G.
The company also decided to suspend dividends to accumulate more cash to step up 5G and introduce new 5G chipsets. The company's shared have lost almost one-third of its value since its push towards 5G.
Chairman is the highest executive role in Nokia. Siilasmaa is the second high-profile executive to exit Nokia within the last two months. Chief Operating Officer Joerg Erlemeier is also about to leave the company after the mobile phone maker said that it is doing away with the role.
Siilasmaa played a major role in revamping Nokia from a cellphone maker with a network arm into one of a top three telecom equipment makers in the world.
Earlier this year, Maria Varsellona, Nokia Technologies president, also left the company, while Nicholas Bouverot, Vice President, South Asia region, parted with the company for a job at Thales SA.
Nokia trying to stage a comeback
The Finnish mobile phone giant in a statement said that Siilasmaa was a director for 12 years and as chair for eight years. Sixty-four-year-old Baldauf will now be one of the most powerful and high-profile executives in the global telecom industry.
However, Baldauf's appointment as the chair is subject to her getting re-elected to the board at the company's annual general meeting that will be held on April 8, 2020.
Nokia has been facing stiff competition from Ericsson AB, which stepped up its spending on 5G research and development, while cutting other costs. Nokia also has been trying to follow in the footsteps of its Swedish arch rival and trying to adopt similar policies.