Inmarsat has announced that Rajeev Suri, former Nokia CEO, will join the business and assume the role of chief executive officer (CEO) and become a director of Connect Bidco Limited, the holding company for Inmarsat, from March 01, 2021. Rupert Pearce will step down as CEO on February 28, 2021.

Suri’s most recent role was president and CEO of Nokia, a position he held for six years. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks for five years. Since stepping down in August 2020, Suri has worked in senior advisory roles with private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Apollo Global Management.

During his stint with Nokia, Suri was responsible for bringing Nokia to the position of one of the top two players in telecommunications infrastructure through both M&A and organic growth. His efforts helped the company double its revenues to € 23 billion in 2019 and increasing non-IFRS operating profit from € 28 million in 2009 to over € 2 billion in 2019. Suri led the consolidation of the network infrastructure sector from ten players to three major players in over a decade. Further, during his time as Nokia CEO, large shareholder returns in the form of dividends and share buybacks of € 8.5 billion were made.

Suri most recently led Nokia’s leadership in 5G for communication service providers and successfully diversified Nokia into new business areas. He established an independent software business that became the leading telecom software business in the world, quadrupled the annual recurring revenue run rate of the patent licensing business and led a new foray into large enterprise networks with double digit revenue growth over the last several years. Rajeev will be based in the UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Inmarsat’s Chairman Andrew Sukawaty, said, “The board is delighted to welcome Rajeev to Inmarsat and we look forward to working closely with him and with the existing executive team. Rajeev’s experience will support Inmarsat’s future growth and we look forward to the business transitioning successfully to another capable leader.”

Meanwhile, Suri said, “I am very excited to join Inmarsat, and to work closely with such skilled people, at such an important moment for the company and the satellite communications industry as a whole. I have been very impressed by the capabilities and ambitions of the company and its partner community and wish to pay tribute to their ethos, drive and ingenuity. Together, they have established technology leadership in satellite mobility, underpinned by a unique understanding of the customer.”