Nokia Prepares For a Major Shake-Up

By Ashok Bindra February 07, 2011

In a plan to revamp the company amidst tough competition from smartphones, Finnish cell phone giant Nokia Corp. is preparing for a major shake-up. According to Wall Street Journal report on Monday, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is considering a major shake-up in the company’s group executive board. As a result, a number of senior officials on the board will be leaving soon. The WSJ journal report is based on a person familiar with the situation.

Although the names and numbers remained unclear, Elop is finalizing his plan to revive the company, which has been losing ground in the lucrative market for smartphones, writes the Journal. Elop, a Microsoft veteran, was hired in September to help revitalize the cell phone maker. It is also reported that Elop is Nokia’s first non-Finnish chief executive. As per WSJ, Nokia CEO is expected to present the plan on Friday at an analysts' meeting in London.

The person familiar with the situation told WSJ that Nokia executives won't know their fate until they are briefed on Elop's blueprint the day before the meeting. The shake-up will likely extend beyond the group executive board, which consists of top 10 executives. The person added that Nokia has retained executive recruiters to find a new head of operating systems, as well as a new head of research and development with strong software skills.

Meanwhile, this news also appeared in a German weekly, which reported that executives including Mary T. McDowell, who is in charge of Nokia's mobile-phones unit, and Niklas Savander, the manager of its markets unit, may be asked to leave the company.

McDowell declined to comment and Savander could not be reached by the WSJ reporters. However, a Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment on rumors and speculations, wrote WSJ.

Though the world’s largest mobile phone maker is losing ground to new wave of smartphones, especially Apple’s iPhones and others running Google’s Android software, it continues to use its Symbian software, regarded by many in the industry as outdated and unable to compete with Android and Apple's operating system.

Since coming on board, the new CEO has announced job cuts and made some changes in the top management. Besides hiring Nokia’s first-ever chief marketing officer, several top level executives have resigned, including Anssi Vanjoki, its smartphone chief, and Ari Jaaksi, the head of Nokia's MeeGo Computers operations, wrote WSJ. As per a company statement, this report also stated that Jorma Ollila, chairman of Nokia's board of directors, will step down next year.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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