Senior Nokia Exec Departs to Join Venture Fund

By Beecher Tuttle August 31, 2011

Tero Ojanperae, Nokia's senior vice president of services and its former chief technology officer, will be leaving the company at the end of September after more than two decades of service.

Ojanperae will still have a close relationship with Nokia though, as he is moving on to a managing partner role with a new investment fund called Vision+ that will collaborate directly with the struggling Finnish phone maker.

Vision+ will fund application and game development projects for Nokia-supported platforms, including the Windows Phone 7 OS, which Nokia has embraced as its new mobile operating system. Not surprisingly, Nokia said that is plans on being an “anchor investor” in Vision+.

Eventually, the investment firm will look to pursue product development opportunities in other industries, including clean water and energy.

“Vision+ will be able to provide support to developers and entrepreneurs when they plan to introduce the best visions and product concepts into global and local markets,” Ojanpera said of the new company.

The management team shakeup comes on the heels of a massively disappointing second quarter for Nokia, which has had difficulty keeping up with Apple and other thriving handset makers in the global smartphone race.

Nokia saw its handset sales drop 11 percent from Q1 and 7 percent from the same period last year. In the second quarter alone, the Finnish company posted a loss of around $692 million, which included a bulk payment of approximately $600 million for intellectual property royalties.

Without the balloon payment, Nokia would have suffered more than a $1 billion loss for the three months ending in June. Stunningly, Nokia suffered a 33 percent drop in smartphone sales during the quarter.

The company is resting its hopes on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 to resuscitate its flailing smartphone business and recapture the top spot in the market. Only time will tell if the company bet on the right horse.

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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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