Nokia Replaces CEO With Ex-Microsoft Executive - HotHardware
Nokia Replaces CEO With Ex-Microsoft Executive

Nokia Replaces CEO With Ex-Microsoft Executive

And just like that, it's done. Rumors were flaring over the past couple of months that Nokia's existing CEO was on the hot seat. We guess those rumors weren't wrong. It's being reported that a search for a new Nokia CEO had been ongoing since at least May, and it seems that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo's replacement has now been found. The timing could not possibly be stranger. Nokia World, which is Nokia's annual gala to showcase new software and hardware, is scheduled to take place in London next week. Just days after that, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is scheduled to depart (September 20th).


Going out...

So, who will replace him? A Canadian from Microsoft, yet the headquarters and corporate culture will remain in Finland. Stephen Elop will become President and CEO shortly, where he will leave his post as head of Microsoft's Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Elop held senior executive positions in a number of US-based public companies, including Juniper Networks, Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. He holds a degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University, and it's pretty clear that decision makers spent a lot of time hand-picking this guy. Here's the quote from Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors, that really sums it up:

"The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success. The Nokia Board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realize the full potential of Nokia. His strong software background and proven record in change management will be valuable assets as we press harder to complete the transformation of the company. We believe that Stephen will be able to drive both innovation and efficient execution of the company strategy in order to deliver increased value to our shareholders."

The reason for the change is obvious: Nokia is losing ground. They're still the world's largest handset maker in terms of worldwide market share overall, but their stake in the smartphone arena is tiny. They have no phones that come close to rivaling those from HTC and Apple (let alone Samsung and LG), and their primary phone OS isn't nearly as robust as iOS or Android. It was time for a change, but Elop has a ton of work to do if he really plans to turn things around this late in the game. Apple and Google have had years to cement their positions, and Microsoft is about to relaunch a new mobile OS of their own. Is there still time for a fourth major player to rise up? Only time will tell, but the new regime gets going in mere days. Q4 should be mighty interesting to watch.


Coming in...
Nokia appoints Stephen Elop to President and CEO as of September 21, 2010
September 10, 2010

Espoo, Finland -Nokia's Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Elop President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia as of September 21. Elop currently heads Microsoft's Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Elop held senior executive positions in a number of US-based public companies, including Juniper Networks, Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. He holds a degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, which is his home country.

"The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success. The Nokia Board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realize the full potential of Nokia. His strong software background and proven record in change management will be valuable assets as we press harder to complete the transformation of the company. We believe that Stephen will be able to drive both innovation and efficient execution of the company strategy in order to deliver increased value to our shareholders," said Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors.

Elop commented on his new Nokia position: "I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers. Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services."

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will leave his current position as President and CEO of Nokia on September 20, 2010 and his position on the Nokia Board of Directors with immediate effect. He will continue to chair the Board of Nokia Siemens Networks in a non-executive capacity.

"The whole Board of Directors joins me in thanking Olli-Pekka for his thirty years at Nokia, during which he has been deeply involved in developing the company and its operations. His dedication and contribution throughout the years has been exceptional. The Board wishes him every success in his future pursuits," says Jorma Ollila.

In accordance with the terms and conditions of his service contract, Kallasvuo is entitled to a severance payment consisting of 18 months gross base salary and target incentive which totals approximately 4.6 million euro. He will also receive as compensation the fair market value of the 100 000 restricted Nokia shares granted to him in 2007, which vest on October 1, 2010.

As of September 10, 2010, the Nokia Board will consist of the following members:  Jorma Ollila (Chairman),  Dame Marjorie Scardino (Vice Chairman), Lalita D. Gupte, Bengt Holmström, Dr. Henning Kagermann, Per Karlsson, Isabel Marey-Semper, Risto Siilasmaa, Keijo Suila.
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This new guy has a "I'm gonna git-cha!" kind of smile,........(shudders)

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