Anyone who has been watching Finnish mobile phone company Nokia's decisions and performance in the last few years can be excused for shaking his or her head with bewilderment. A new development – company board chairman Jorma Ollila today said he will leave his post by 2012 – may lead you to wonder if the company isn't merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Along with his announcement, Ollila said he would not “throw in the towel” at the Nokia before then.
“As originally planned, the nominations committee of the Board of Directors has started searching for a new chairman with the view that at the 2012 Annual General Meeting I would no longer stand for re-election,” Ollila told Nokia's annual general meeting in Helsinki, according to a script of his statement provided by Nokia.
Ollila, who has been a Nokia executive since 1986, stepped down as CEO in 2006 but remained chairman of the board of directors. When he announced last September that former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was replacing Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as CEO, Ollila said he would stay on to help with the transition but estimated that he would exit sometime around 2012, reports AFP news.
At Tuesday's meeting, he said that for the time he has left, he was “committed” to helping Nokia, which has seen its market share eaten away by competitors in recent years.
“The past year has been extremely heavy, and I believe the current year will also be a demanding one,” he said.
In February of this year, Nokia announced a new partnership with Microsoft which will mean most future Nokia smart phones will be powered by the Windows Phone 7 operating system rather than Nokia's proprietary Symbian OS or Nokia's MeeGo Linux-based open source mobile operating system. Some low-end handsets will continue to use Symbian.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell