Nokia mobile solutions head resigns

Anssi Vanjoki, the senior Nokia executive charged to change the Finnish phonemaker's smartphone fortunes, has resigned. His decision comes days after the company announced the appointment of its first non-Finnish CEO.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Nokia executive vice president Anssi Vanjoki has resigned, said the company. The news came days after the Finnish phonemaker's appointment of a new CEO.

In a press statement released Monday, Nokia said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and a member of Nokia Group Executive Board, has tendered his resignation. However, Anjoki, who is also the head of its mobile solutions unit, will continue to lead the department as he serves up his six-month notice period, it added.

In the statement, Vanjoki said: "I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life. At the same time, I am 100 percent committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day."

Vanjoki, who has been with the company since 1991, was appointed as the head of Nokia's mobile solutions unit in July this year. The unit, formed during the company's restructuring announced earlier in May, focuses on Nokia's portfolio of high-end mobile computing and smartphone devices powered by Meego and Symbian operating systems.

His departure might come as a surprise to some, given the executive's feisty sentiments when he first took over the position.

In an earlier blog post, Vanjoki had called the Finnish company a "challenger" in the smartphone market. He wrote: "There is no denying that, as a challenger now, we have a fight on our hands. The first battle is to bring you products and services you will want to own and use, to inspire you to create and do new things in this ever-changing digital world. I'm ready to take this challenge on, and so is the entire Nokia team."

Vanjoki's resignation comes on the heels of the company's CEO switch, which was announced last Friday. Stephen Elop, who is currently serving as the president of Microsoft's business division, will replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on Sep. 20 to become Nokia's first non-Finnish CEO.

Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps noted in a statement released Monday that Elop's background as a Microsoft and Adobe-Macromedia veteran "should prepare him well" for the role as CEO of Nokia. However, Elop is also tasked with growing Nokia's core handset business, an area "largely unfamiliar" to Elop, he added.

"Balancing this requirement with the need to move Nokia forward in new areas may prove a difficult challenge to manage effectively," Cripps said.

Tech blog TechCrunch also stated that without any news of Vanjoki's successor, the Finnish phonemaker will continue to struggle to match its rivals in the smartphone arena.

According to reports, Nokia, the world's largest handset maker, is lagging behind in smartphone technology, while new entrants Apple iOS and Google Android eats into its share of the pie.

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