Ed Cholerton Will Lead Nokia’s North American Operations

The front of a Nokia building

Nokia has been pushing for a new organizational structure for quite some time now even making changes at the highest levels within the organization, and to start 2021, promoting Ed Cholerton as the leader of its North American endeavors will continue this trend. Ricky Corker will be moving on to become the Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCXO), leaving Cholerton to become the Chief Executive of North American Operations with lofty goals to accomplish. Soon-to-be CEO Pekka Lundmark’s new organizational structure will place Cholerton and other regional executives under Corker with each region now reporting to him.

The position will be undergoing a bit of a restructure as well. Whereas Corker was in charge of all of the Americas, the new role that Cholerton will play from Nokia’s North American headquarters in Dallas, Texas, will be focused solely on the United States and Canada. Cholerton will double down on this focus by also forgoing responsibilities on the service side of Nokia’s operations which Corker once handled. Those operations will now report to Nokia’s centralized leadership team. 

The result will provide Nokia with a refocus on expanding Nokia’s equipment sales throughout North American operators broken down into five main operator areas including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, other Canadian operators, and other United States operators. While speaking to Light Reading, Cholerton stated, “Obviously we want to grow our business. We’ve had a pretty good record over the last couple of years here in America. And we’ve got to broaden that out and make sure that we’re delivering things like C-band. I think that’s my most important goal, just making sure I’m taking care of our customers, growing our business, and making sure that we’ve got the right portfolio.”

Cholerton will need to gain momentum in North America as competitors continue to fight for a piece of the market. Verizon choosing Samsung as a vendor over long time vendor Nokia was a $6 billion deal that showed a notable shift occurring in the wireless industry. Global efforts aside, there is still a lot of opportunity within North America specifically for Nokia to continue to make a name for itself as a titan of industry. The Finnish telecom giant continues to provide innovative solutions and has the reputation to back them up. 

Meanwhile, another major wireless player, Huawei, continues to find opposition from many different countries with America leading the charge. 2020 was a big year for 5G but a turbulent spot revolved around Huawei and the increasing worry of security threats from the Chinese conglomerate. Tensions rose further due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and overall, bipartisan concerns recognize that Huawei cannot be trusted to keep information from the Chinese government. Leveraging its solutions, reputation, and availability for the opportunities across North America can help boost Nokia and may find them regaining some of the market space lost as 5G continues to grow in its infancy. “…The breadth and depth of our business across all three major US operators was strong and continues to be very strong. I think most people would kill to have the book of business that we have now. Obviously we’re not perfect, and in some cases, we’re pedaling uphill, but business is still quite large with all of them. And I think we have a good, healthy relationship,” Cholerton said, speaking on losing customer share within North America.

Opportunities abound and the North American market is continuing to grow. With deals with innovative companies such as DISH Wireless who are still working to build their nationwide 5G network, Nokia continues to find opportunities and will look to expand these over the upcoming year and beyond. Even innovative C-band opportunities will provide interesting avenues for the company as seen with Nokia’s testing with UScellular. There are a lot of moving pieces but with a concerted effort to refocus the North American market, it is exciting to see where Cholerton will elevate the company to next.

Source: Light Reading