Nokia's CEO Planning To Replace Top-Tier Execs?

The tension is building, and the world at large (particularly those who pay attention to the mobile world) has to be wondering what's next for Nokia. There are only so many re-starts available for a company that's caught up in a world where innovation is happening at a rapid pace, and Nokia can't keep doing what they have been doing if they expect to maintain a global lead in smartphone market share. Ever since iOS and Android started to truly take over, Nokia hasn't kept pace in the smartphone world. They're still selling a ton of lower-end phones in developing countries, but it's the smartphone space that is poised to really grow over the next several years. Will Nokia compete?

Their CEO was replaced last September, but not much has happened since. The company hasn't issued any new phones to compete with the iPhone or any of the high-end Android phones. But the new CEO, Stephen Elop, could be just about ready to make sweeping changes at the top to help spark that competitive nature once again. A report originating from German weekly Wirtschaftswoche has found that Elop could cut a number of top-tier executives as soon as next week. The organizational changes would happen on the 11th of this month, with Mary T. McDowell, the executive in charge of Nokia's mobile phones unit, one of the people mentioned on the chopping block.

Chief Development Officer Kai Oistamo is also named to be at risk, as is Niklas Savander, the manager of the markets unit. Tero Ojanpera, the manager responsible for services and mobile solutions, is the fourth and final executive specifically named to be replaced. Nokia is said to already have headhunters looking for new staff to fill those shoes, but there has been no confirmation nor denial from Nokia. What kind of execs will be named to fill these slots? Tough to say, but it wouldn't be surprising to see people pulled from other successful phone makers. It feels like Nokia is in need of a culture shift, one that is willing to take risks and potentially use an OS that already has momentum. Particularly in North America, it will be very tough to make Symbian^3 into a respected OS now that Android and iOS have such a huge market lead, but who knows if Nokia will ever be willing to only produce hardware. Next week should be very, very interesting in the Nokia camp, particularly with Mobile World Congress just about the corner.