Eurobites: Nokia makes industry vet Baldauf its new chair

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor has a Hub; Sparke's extends its reach in Brazil; French COVID-19 app gets the green light.

  • Nokia has appointed industry veteran Sari Baldauf as its new chair of the board, succeeding Risto Siilasmaa, who held the role for eight years. Baldauf has been on the Nokia board since 2018, and between 1998-2005 was EVP and general manager of the vendor's Networks Business Group. According to Reuters, Siilasmaa used a video address to shareholders to give his blessing to the appointment, assuring them that Baldauf's focus will be on improving financial results. Baldauf's annual fee for the position will remain the same as it was for her predecessor: €440,000 (US$484,000).

    Sari Baldauf
    Sari Baldauf

  • Telenor has launched what it's calling a "Nordic Hub" to help stimulate growth in its Nordic markets. While Telenor EVP Jukka Leinonen will continue to represent the Nordics on Telenor's group executive management team, Jesper Hansen, current CEO of Telenor Denmark, will join the Nordic Hub as its chief operating officer. Lars Thomsen will step down from the group executive management team to take on Hansen's CEO role. The changes mean, among other things, that 43% of Telenor's executive management team will be women, exceeding the operator's 35% target.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has expanded its reach in Brazil with a new point of presence in Salvador. The new PoP is integrated with Sparkle's global Tier 1 transit backbone, Seabone. Sparkle already has Brazilian PoPs in Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro and Fortaleza, as well as PoPs in eight other Central and South American countries.

  • France is due to launch its "StopCovid" contact-tracing app at the weekend after lawmakers gave it the nod on Wednesday. As Reuters reports, France has chosen to go down the "centralized" route, eschewing the "decentralized" platform being jointly touted by Apple and Google. In doing this, France is following in the footsteps of the UK, which is currently trialing a decentralized contact-tracing app on the Isle of Wight.

  • Enterprises in Europe and North America are increasingly taking their IoT networks off the public Internet and putting them on private networks instead, according to research carried out on behalf of Syniverse by Omdia. The research was conducted across 200 enterprise executives in Europe and North America, and found that 50% of them cited putting IoT devices on their own private networks in the face of concern about the security of "traditional" IoT networks. Syniverse has published a white paper containing its findings, which can be accessed here.

  • Pluto TV, the US-based OTT video streaming service, is boosting its UK offer with the addition of seven new channels to its UK lineup. Look out for such gems as The Simple Life, in which socialite layabouts Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie endure various hardships, such as "surviving 30 days with a family on a farm" in the name of, erm, entertainment.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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