CORPORATE APPOINTMENTS/DEPARTURES

Nokia Announces Changes To Its Group Leadership Team

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By Oystein Bergmann, Bureau Chief, Scandinavia

Nokia has announced the appointment of Lorna Gibb as Chief People Officer and member of the Group Leadership Team, effective immediately. In addition, Ricky Corker, who has served as Nokia’s Chief Customer Experience Officer since 2021, will step down and leave the company effective June 28, 2024.

Lorna Gibb joined Nokia in 2020 and has been Nokia’s Interim Chief People Officer since March 2024. Prior to this role she served as Vice President, Labor and Employment, being a member of Nokia’s People and Legal & Compliance Leadership Teams. Lorna has over 20 years of experience working in people leadership roles for large scale global businesses in various industries and geographies. Before joining Nokia, she held roles as Global People Director for Skyscanner and People Partner/Director for EasyJet, where she spearheaded cross border organizational and cultural transformation. Lorna will be based in Finland and reports to Nokia’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Pekka Lundmark.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Lorna as our Chief People Officer. As acting Chief People Officer, Lorna has already demonstrated a passion for the development of Nokia’s culture, and she has a strong vision on how to develop our people function. Lorna is an experienced leader with a digital mindset and understands what is needed to attract and retain key talent in order to position us for future success,” said President and CEO of Nokia Pekka Lundmark.

“I am honored to lead our people function as Nokia continues its transformation journey as a B2B technology innovation leader. I believe that our people are what makes us great at Nokia. To enable our talented employees around the world to keep doing what they do best, I’m looking forward to leading the evolution of our culture and people strategy, providing the tools and support to drive innovation,” Lorna Gibb commented.

In addition, Ricky Corker, who has served as Nokia’s Chief Customer Experience Officer since 2021, will step down and leave the company on June 28, 2024. Ricky’s departure follows Nokia’s decision to empower its business groups with increased operational autonomy and move into a streamlined operating model, where the Customer Experience organization has been embedded into the business groups from the start of 2024. This change will enable the business groups to better seize growth opportunities with existing and new customers, and diversify faster into enterprise, webscale and government sectors.

“Ricky has been a valued member of Nokia’s leadership team and the Nokia community. He has been with Nokia for over 30 years and held several management positions within the company. I want to thank Ricky for all his contributions to Nokia, not least for helping to drive Nokia’s transformation and building trust with our customers throughout the years. I wish him all the best with his future endeavors,” said Pekka Lundmark.

“Serving at Nokia has been a privilege. I am confident that I leave Nokia on a path to continued success, and I wish Nokia and all my colleagues the very best,” commented Ricky Corker.

EBRD Commits New Funding And Support For Ukraine At Recovery Conference

By Vanora Bennett

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending its support for Ukraine with new funding commitments. At the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) in Berlin on 11-12 June, the Bank signed multiple financing and pre-financing agreements, which bring the total EBRD financing deployed in wartime Ukraine to €4.5 billion.

The Bank has also mobilised new de-risking and risk-sharing tools from the European Union and other development organisations for over €600 million.

The EBRD, Ukraine’s largest institutional investor, has significantly increased its finance to Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale war there, and aims to continue investing between €1.5 to 2 billion in the country annually. 

EBRD shareholders have recently agreed to provide a €4 billion paid-in capital increase to enable the Bank to continue investing at these levels in wartime, with the potential for more investments when reconstruction starts.

Ukraine is now a candidate for European Union accession. But the Berlin conference comes amid weeks of Russian air attacks on the country’s energy facilities. These have damaged or destroyed more than half of national energy generation capacity and raised questions about how Ukraine will provide many of its citizens with light and heating this winter.

While visiting Kyiv last week, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting out €300 million of new EBRD emergency support for the energy sector. The EBRD will continue to explore with its partners further ways to support the country’s energy security.

In Berlin, the EBRD was active in all four of the conference’s thematic areas: EU accession; business development; local, municipal and regional development; and human capital development.

In the area of EU accession, the European Union agreed to provide €517 million to Ukraine through EBRD programmes to support its economy and recovery. The agreements were signed on Tuesday by Managing Director for Ukraine and Moldova, Arvid Tuerkner, and European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

In the business category, the EBRD signed multiple transactions.

An EBRD equity investment in a renewable energy joint venture led by a German investor to build and operate new solar power generation facilities in Ukraine. The EBRD is also lending €60 million to finance the construction of a privately owned Ukrainian greenfield biofuels project.

Two transactions with local banks: a €20 million local-currency loan to Bank Lviv and a €50 million unfunded portfolio risk-sharing facility to Raiffeisen Bank Ukraine. These instruments will strengthen the banks’ lending capacity and boost access to finance for Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

A pre-financing agreement with PrivatBank for an unfunded portfolio guarantee, which, once signed, will cover up to 50 per cent of PrivatBank’s credit risk on newly issued sub-loans worth up to €400 million to private businesses. This will help Ukrainian companies continue their operations, safeguard livelihoods and invest in projects that contribute to the country’s food production, energy efficiency and energy generation.

To support Ukraine’s cross-border trade, the US International Development Finance Corporation and the French development agency Proparco declared their intent to share the risk on the EBRD’s trade finance exposure in Ukraine in the coming year. The two institutions intend to provide up to US$ 50 million each in risk-sharing guarantees, to support the export and import of critical goods. The arrangement builds on a plan drawn up last year by development finance institutions to collaborate on co-investments in Ukraine’s private sector.

The EBRD and IFC agreed to continue advancing their joint appraisal to support the creation of a leading integrated telecoms operator in Ukraine through the merger of Datagroup-Volia, a national fixed telecoms leader, and Lifecell, the country’s fastest-growing mobile operator. The landmark deal for Ukraine would entail potential joint financing of up to US$ 435 million to support the expansion and improvement of telecommunications infrastructure.

The Bank joined the SME Resilience Alliance, an initiative launched by the conference’s German organisers.

Lastly, the EBRD is partnering with Endeavor Global to launch Endeavor Ukraine. The organisation’s Ukrainian chapter will support high-impact entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking and investment opportunities, promoting an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which is crucial for a vibrant private sector and long-term economic growth.

To support Ukraine’s cities and regions as they grapple with the fallout from the war, the EBRD signed two municipal transactions and four pre-financing agreements worth a total of €143 million, under the conference’s local and regional heading, as well as MoUs for regional transport and water infrastructure projects.

The EBRD is lending a financial package of €25 million to the port city of Mykolaiv to repair its water infrastructure. The package includes a €10 million grant component provided by Denmark and a €5 million grant from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P).

The Bank is lending €15 million, which includes an EU component, to Lutsk to upgrade its district heating system.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, which has come under heavy Russian attack in recent months, was one of three municipalities along with Kyiv and Kryvyi Rih to sign pre-financing agreements for the provision of emergency liquidity to maintain vital services. The Kharkiv project will also include an EU component. A fourth pre-financing agreement was signed with the city of Zhytomyr for a public transport project.

MoUs were also signed with Ukrainian Railways and the Ministry of Infrastructure for a potential €300 million project in which the EBRD would provide co-financing for the purchase of electric locomotives, and with the Ministry to support the regional water sector.

The Bank joined the Coalition for Sustainable Municipalities.

Under the umbrella of human capital, the EBRD, Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and Sweden’s Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) launched a new Human Capital Resilience Charter to help employers in Ukraine support returnee workers and veterans in meeting the challenges they face in the wartime labour market. The EBRD also joined the Skills Alliance for Ukraine as well as the Alliance on Gender-Responsive and Inclusive Recovery.

Lastly, the Bank reconfirmed its deepening partnership with USAID by signing an MoU with shared objectives regarding Ukraine’s resilience and recovery. It establishes a basis for ongoing cooperation between the partners in energy, infrastructure and finance.

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