Buvac resigns as Nokia’s enterprise chief as reshuffle and rumour continue
Nokia’s enterprise chief Kathrin Buvac has quit the Finnish vendor to take a role at another technology firm. Her departure, scheduled for the end of the month, follows on the heels of the announcement Rajeev Suri, the company’s president and chief executive, will also exit, from September.
The Finnish firm, fielding a hostile takeover according to industry chatter, posted growth of almost 20 percent with enterprises during the first quarter of 2020, righting the business overall, with sales sliding by two percent in the period and adjusted profit rising to €116 million, from a loss of €59 million a year ago.
Raghav Sahgal, senior vice president of Nokia’s software business, will take over from Buvac, who has served variously with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Nokia for two decades, and is widely credited with the enterprise division’s recent successes, particularly around the sale of private LTE networks to industry.
Her next career stop, after May, has not been revealed. Nokia said she had taken a new “leadership position at a global technology company”. She is also stepping down from her position on the company’s group leadership team. Suri said: “I both understand and support her desire to take on a new challenge.”
He added: “Kathrin has held key leadership positions at Nokia, including chief strategy officer, and has been at the heart of many of our transformational changes, including the turnaround of Nokia Siemens Networks and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
“In her most recent role, she led Nokia’s entry into a new customer segment focused on enterprise networks and industrial automation, delivering profitable, double-digit growth.”
Sahgal currently has charge for global sales and market services within the company’s software group. He joined Nokia in April 2017 from NICE Systems, where he served as president of the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Prior to NICE, he held senior positions with Oracle, Comverse, CSG, Kenan and Lucent.
Suri commented: “Raghav has a demonstrated record of success in his current role in Nokia Software. I look forward to him joining the Group Leadership Team and building on the strong momentum and fast growth we have in the enterprise segment.”
Nokia recorded enterprise revenues of €1.4 billion in 2019, a rise of 18 percent in constant currency from 2018. Nokia said in February it had signed “nearly” 40 new customers for private LTE networks in the three months to the end of 2019. Nokia has contracts for private LTE networks with around 130 customers in total.
It has recently signed with Indian operator Bharti Airtel to offer private LTE and industrial AI to enterprises in India’s manufacturing and distribution sector (followed by a $1 billion deal for 5G upgrades in the operator’s main network). It has signed a headline-grabbing deal for private LTE with Lufthansa Technik, running in the airline company’s own spectrum in Germany.
New deals around private LTE have also been completed with: the Société du Grand Paris (SGP) in Paris, responsible for the Grand Paris Express metro; an underground mine belonging to NORCAT in Ontario, in Canada; Kansas-based industrial services provider PK Solutions, for oil-and-gas deployments in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in the US; and Polish energy sector company PGE Systemy, for a pilot network in the 450 MHz band.