Monika Maurer, who was only promoted to the Chief Operating Officer role at Nokia last April, has apparently decided she doesn’t like what she’s seen at the top table.
People don’t leave so soon after joining the Group Leadership Team unless something is amiss. Nokia, inevitably, is sticking to only the most tested and anodyne statements in relation to this development, which sees former SVP of Nokia Transformation, Joerg Erlemeir, given the COO role with immediate effect.
“I want to thank Monika for her contributions to Nokia, and Alcatel-Lucent before that,” said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri. “I warmly welcome Joerg to the GLT, and look forward to working together to further strengthen our disciplined operating model.”
While Nokia hasn’t had quite the turmoil at the top experienced by its rival Ericsson, this isn’t exactly a great endorsement of its senior management. Maurer was appointed during the cabinet reshuffle that saw the COO role restored after Marc Rouanne took over leadership of the Mobile Networks business unit, following the departure of Samih Elhage, who still hasn’t got another full-time job.
Erlemeir is a Nokia lifer, while Maurer was an Alcatel-Lucent lifer (see CV below). Nokia has done a good job of seeming to incorporate A-Lu relatively smoothly but we can’t escape the impression that, with the exception of the fixed-line business units, the Nokia GLT is increasingly comprised of Nokia lifers.
Elhage had only been at Nokia since 2012 and while Erlemeir goes straight to the top row of the Nokia GLT page Marcus Weldon, CTO, President of Bell Labs, and easily the most effective external communicator in the team, comes last. Weldon was an A-Lu lifer. Just as at Ericsson, the Nokia CEO now seems to be surrounded by his mates, so it’s time to make the magic happen.