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Nokia's COO quits after eight months in the job

A Nokia logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Espoo, Finland, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia said its chief operating officer will leave the telecom network equipment maker, which is struggling in the face of a shrinking market and tough competition, after just eight months in the job.

COO Monika Maurer will be replaced by Joerg Erlemeier, currently a senior vice president for Nokia Transformation, effective immediately, the Finnish company said on Monday.

Maurer was promoted to group COO in April, from COO of fixed networks, after Nokia's head of mobile networks Samih Elhage announced his departure from the company and the group said it would break out services as a distinct business group from mobile networks.

"Monika Maurer... will support Erlemeier during a transition period and then leave Nokia to pursue new opportunities outside the company," Nokia said in a statement, without elaborating.

The telecom network equipment industry is going through the toughest part of a decade-long cycle, as demand for 4G and older 2G and 3G network equipment subsides, while demand for next-generation 5G networks remains a few years away.

Nokia shares lost almost a fifth of their value after the company in October reported a sharp drop in earnings citing weak overall market and internal problems following its 2016 acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

Nokia shares were down 0.6 percent in early trade.


(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Terje Solsvik and Susan Fenton)