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Nokia's Number Two Leaving In Wake of CEO Departure

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Nokia's Number Two Leaving In Wake of CEO Departure
September 13, 2010
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor


It would seem that there's a bit of an exodus starting at Nokia (News - Alert) that may be indicating the start of a serious change in business attitude and direction.

Last week, the Finnish mobile giant announced the departure of its long-time CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (News - Alert), who is being replaced with a Canadian former Microsoft Executive Stephen Elop. Elop will begin next week.

Today, there is news that Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager of the Mobile Solutions group and a member of Nokia's Group Executive Board, has resigned his position and will depart within six months.

Vanjoki was considered the number two executive at Nokia and was generally thought to be Kallasvuo's replacement should the CEO ever leave the company. Vanjoki oversaw Nokia's Mobile Solutions group, which manages the Symbian (News - Alert) smartphone and MeeGo computer product lines. He reported directly to Kallasvuo.

Nokia's recent disappointing sales performance and declining stock prices appear to have prompted the company to take stock of itself and realign its goals to better compete with companies such as Apple (News - Alert).

Its smart phone business, particularly in the U.S., has been lagging behind most of its competitors. While the global mobile market is expected to grow by at least 10 percent this year, Nokia's own growth is expected to stay flat, and the company's Nokia Siemens (News - Alert) unit is also seeing declining revenue.

The company's performance has been particularly disappointing in the North American market, which had in recent years been identified as a potential growth spot. The replacement of Kallasvuo with Elop is seen as a bid to light a fire under the company to spur sales, marketing, strategy and innovation.

Vanjoki said in a statement on Monday, "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."

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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