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Eurobites: Pullola steps down at Nokia after 21 years

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Arun Bansal becomes an Ericsson EVP; Russia's MTS puts Ericsson in the microwave; more coronavirus app confusion in the UK.

  • Kristian Pullola, a 21-year veteran of Nokia, is to step down from his position as chief financial officer, making way for Marco Wirén, who is currently president of Wärtsilä Energy. Wirén, apparently the choice of incoming CEO Pekka Lundmark, will join Nokia on September 1. According to a Nokia statement, Pullola played a "key role" in the sale of the Devices business to Microsoft and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, and is "looking forward to the opportunity to pursue a new [unspecified] path." (See Nokia CEO Suri quits after 5G setbacks.)

  • In other Nordic nameplate-change news, Ericsson has appointed Arun Bansal an the company's second executive vice president (the first was Fredrik Jejdling). Bansal will remain as head of Market Area Europe & Latin America and a member of the executive team.

  • And this sounds like it may come under Bansal's jurisdiction: Russia's MTS has chosen Ericsson's Mini-Link microwave technology to play a role in the development of its converged transport network.

  • The UK government has decided to postpone the testing of a second version of its COVID-19 contact-tracing app amid signs that it is shifting towards the "decentralized" app model being developed by Apple and Google. As the BBC reports, the second version of the app was supposed to have been released into the wild, on the Isle of Wight testbed, on Tuesday. One of the main issues with the apps, says the BBC report, is the inability of Bluetooth – the wireless technology largely driving the app – to accurately measure distance.

  • Sky, the UK-based pay-TV giant, has announced that it will provide an additional 150 small and midsized businesses with £10,000 (US$12,687) to help them develop ads to be used on Sky's AdSmart target-advertising platform. Sky had already provided support to 100 companies, so it will be forking out £2.5 million ($3.17 million) in total. According to Sky, the AdSmart technology allows brands to reach audiences nationally based on the makeup of their household or a range of "lifestyle attributes."

  • O2 UK has notched up 10,000 sites for its LTE-M network, which will power IoT devices. According to the operator, the network will ultimately cover 57% of premises and 58% of the population, allowing billions of devices to be connected to the Internet to collect and share data.

  • Israel's Bezeq is collaborating with the country's ambulance service to convert thousands of redundant payphone booths into defibrillator stations. As Reuters reports, Bezeq has been trying to wash its hands of the barely used payphones for some time. Defibrillators restore a heart rate to normal by providing an electric shock.

  • Swedish media transport company Net Insight has appointed Mårten Blixt as its chief commercial officer. Blixt has more than 20 years' experience in sales roles within the software and IT industry, most recently at Questback, an SaaS supplier.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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