The Nokia I want to lead
I start as CEO of Nokia with great excitement about the potential of our technology to change the world for the better and with optimism about the future of this iconic company, but also with humility.
I know I have a lot of listening and learning to do. That starts with having honest and frank conversations with employees, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders.
Today’s Nokia is very different from the company I joined in 1990. Back then telecommunications were just entering the 2G era and the internet was still the preserve of academics. Now, we stand at the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with 5G set to transform entire industries from health care to manufacturing, changing how we work and live, and giving us the opportunity to create economic prosperity and new jobs while caring more for our planet and improving the lives of people.
In my two decades away from Nokia, I have been fortunate enough to lead companies as diverse as Konecranes and Fortum, seeing firsthand what it takes to launch successful start-ups, the challenge of maintaining success as a company grows, and the importance of embracing digitalization and continuing to innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
So, I feel as if I am in the privileged position of having both an insider’s and an outsider’s perspective on Nokia. There are both opportunities to seize and challenges to overcome.
My immediate priority is to get an accurate understanding of what those opportunities and challenges are. Conversations may need to take place virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But I want to find out what our customers need right now, and what they want in the future. I want to understand the challenges our suppliers face, and how we can help them overcome those obstacles. Working with governments and regulators in a spirit of cooperation and within a culture of openness and transparency is essential. And I want to empower my own team at Nokia to challenge and change how we do things if that means we can do things better.
Nokia’s working culture has always been one where honesty and plain speaking are encouraged. And that is something I want to continue. I value an open working culture where people feel free to speak their mind. Companies need clear communication channels so good ideas can spread quickly and bad business practices are shut down swiftly. Just as I encourage open dialogue, both internally and externally, I promise to say it as I see it.
So, plainly speaking: I want Nokia to be the partner of choice for operators, enterprises, governments, and everyone who shares our view that companies have a duty to act in the interests of society as well as shareholders.
I want us to combine world-leading technology that makes people’s lives better with strong financial performance.
To achieve that we must attract the best talent, invest in research and development, and build on what makes us unique: the trustworthiness of our products, the security and reliability we offer, and our reputation for innovation.
At heart, I am still that 9-year-old boy who joined his school’s computer club because he was excited about the potential of technology to change the world. Back then kids like me were often called “computer geeks” or “nerds.” Today, technology companies are among the most valuable in the world. And technology is so ubiquitous that you could be reading this on the same handheld device you use for work, shopping, banking, entertainment, and dating.
Technology is a part of our everyday lives. The challenge now is against complacency and accepting the status quo. The truly transformative power of widespread digitalization, industrial automation, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence have yet to be unleashed. Our networks and the connectivity we create will play a crucial part in driving forward all of those Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and more.
The Nokia I want to be a part of is the one that enables groundbreaking digital health care, automated transportation, brings learning and education to students in remote parts of the world, and helps address climate change and build a more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.
We do that by continually striving for transformation, refinement, and improvement. By embracing change and seeking to disrupt the status quo. And by making sure we stay honest and true to who we are.
That is the Nokia I want to lead.
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