Jolla replaces CEO again, adds former HP WebOS VP to board

Jolla's rotational CEO strategy continues.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Finnish mobile startup Jolla has appointed another new CEO and has added the former lead from HP's now defunct WebOS group to its board.

Jolla, which is planning to launch its first smartphone based on the Mer and MeeGo Linux project this May, announced it has now appointed a new CEO, Tomi Pienimäki, formerly the CIO at Finnish logistics company Itella Corporation.

Jolla's outgoing CEO Marc Dillon will stay with the company and become head software development at 70 person startup.

Pienimäki was picked for his experience managing large tech operations, according to Jolla co-founder and chairman of the board, Antti Saarnio.

"Tomi brings a great combination of expertise in leading large technology organizations and understanding of the world of growth companies. He is an excellent addition to the Jolla team and will offer valuable insights into the company operations," said Saarnio.

Unlike others credited with founding Jolla, Saarnio is not a former Nokian, and comes from a financing and consulting background.

Pienimäki is Jolla's third CEO since launching. Dillon replaced former CEO Jussi Hurmola who vacated the role ahead of Jolla's first public showcase of the Sailfish OS in November. Hurmola was initially retained as a consultant, but is no longer with the company, a Jolla spokesperson confirmed.

Jolla also on Friday announced the appointment of Steve Lau to its board. Lau is the CEO and founder of Chinese mobile phone distributor and metals firm China Fortune Holdings Limited, which earlier this year took a stake in Jolla

Also on the board is Ari Jaaksi, currently McAfee's senior vice president and general manager of mobile engineering and operations. Jaaksi joined McAfee last October from HP's now dismantled WebOS software and services group. He also worked on high-end phones at Nokia during a 12-year stint with the handset maker.

Other board members also include Mohamed Boukerche, a representative of a private investor, and Stefano Mosconi, CTO of Jolla and one of the company founders.

There's still no word from Jolla on any new members to its Sailfish Alliance, which was announced last year along with a €200m fund for a facility in Hong Kong that would support the OEMs and ODMs keen to participate in the new platform.  

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