UPDATE 1-UK's Inmarsat appoints former Nokia boss Rajeev Suri CEO

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LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - British satellite company Inmarsat said on Wednesday it had appointed Rajeev Suri, the former boss of Nokia, to replace Rupert Pearce as chief executive on March 1.

Inmarsat, which was previously listed in London, was sold to a consortium of UK-based Apax Partners, U.S.-based Warburg Pincus, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $3.4 billion in 2019.

Suri stepped down from the Finnish telecoms equipment maker in August 2020 after more than a decade in charge of Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks.

The executive he will succeed has also had a lengthy tenure. Pearce has been with Inmarsat for 16 years and chief executive for just over nine.

Inmarsat provides satellite communications to the maritime, government, enterprise and aviation markets, with services in L-band, Ka-band and S-band. It has also partnered Deutsche Telekom in building a European aviation network to provide in-flight broadband to airlines.

Suri said he was excited to be joining Inmarsat at an important moment for the company and the satellite communications industry. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton and Michael Holden)