Nokia's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Monika Maurer, is leaving the company after less than a year on the job. Maurer started her job as Nokia's COO back in April, replacing previous COO Samih Elhage, as the company also announced that it would divide its services to create a distinct business group separate from mobile networks. Eight months after replacing Elhage, Maurer is ready to leave her position at the company as well. On Monday, December 11, Nokia announced that it has appointed Joerg Erlemeier as COO and member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team (GLT), replacing Maurer effective immediately. Nokia says that Maurer will pursue other opportunities after a transition period alongside Erlemeier, but did not offer any additional details.
So far, Erlemeier has been a Nokia Transformation senior vice president. Maurer will assist Erlemeier for a while to make the transition as smooth as possible, but will then leave Nokia altogether. Erlemeier has a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specialized in Electronics and Telecommunications, and has more than two decades of experience in leadership positions at Nokia. The telecom network equipment maker has been struggling recently, amid fierce competition and a tough market, and its shares have notably dipped after it reported a dramatic drop in earnings back in October. At the time, the company blamed a weak market, as well as some internal issues stemming from its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent last year.
Nokia is not the only one struggling, however, as the whole industry is at a critical point. As various companies are already making efforts to pioneer 5G technology and 5G demand is gradually ramping up, although actual deployment is still a while away, demand for older 2G and 3G, and even newer 4G networks, is dwindling and will only continue to decrease. Nokia is trying to keep its head above the water, but the departure of two COOs in less than a year signals that things might not be going that well. Erlemeier will report to Nokia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President Rajeev Suri, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to turn things around for the struggling company.