Anssi Vanjoki, head of Nokia's smartphone division, steps down ahead of the Nokia World 2010 conference.
Vanjoki, the head of Nokia's smartphone division, has become the first
casualty of the Stephen
Elop era at the cell phone giant.
executives here in London for the Nokia World 2010 conference, which starts
Sept. 14, confirmed that Vanjoki had stepped down, just days before Microsoft
executive Stephen Elop is slated to take over as CEO of
the beleaguered cell phone leader.
Elop, who until Sept. 20 is president of Microsoft's
Business Division, does not start at Nokia until Sept. 21. He was named to
succeed Ollie-Pekka Kallasvuo as chief executive officer.
Though leading in the cell phone market, Nokia has been
bleeding share, particularly in the market for the more lucrative high-end
smartphones, as the iPhone and the fast-growing Android platform continue to
According to market research firm Gartner, in the second
quarter of 2010 Nokia's smartphone market share dropped to 37.5 percent, down
from 45 percent for the same period the year before.
It is not known whether Vanjoki's move was a pre-emptive one
ahead of Elop's arrival or whether he had hopes of his own for the CEO
position. However, his announcement just a day before the opening of Nokia's
premier annual event for customers, partners and developers is a bit curious.
Yet, without saying what he will do next, Vanjoki said he is
committed to giving six months to the job.
"I am one hundred percent committed to doing my best
for Nokia until my very last working day," Vanjoki said in a statement.
Nokia's full statement on Vanjoki's resignation reads:
"Nokia announced today that Anssi Vanjoki, Executive
Vice President and a member of Nokia Group Executive Board has given notice of
resignation from Nokia. Vanjoki, who currently heads Nokia's Mobile Solutions
unit, has six months notice period and he will continue in his current tasks
for the time being.
"I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in
my life. At the same time, I am one hundred per cent committed to doing my best
for Nokia until my very last working day. I am also really looking forward to
this year's Nokia World and sharing news about exciting new devices and
In a reorganization in May, Nokia announced that its Mobile
Solutions unit would be headed by Vanjoki and comprise MeeGo Computers, led by Alberto Torres, and Symbian Smartphones, led by Jo Harlow. As
part of the Mobile Solutions unit, Services-led by Tero Ojanpera-would continue
to develop Ovi as an integrated
service into smartphones and mobile computers, and lead the development and
deployment of new services into Nokia's mobile phones. Nokia also appointed
former Sun Microsystems executive Rich Green to the position of chief technology
officer, assuming responsibility for driving common technology architecture
across Nokia. Green brings a wealth of experience from his time in Silicon Valley.
He reports Vanjoki.
Vanjoki is a former 3M executive. He joined Nokia in 1991 as
vice president of sales in the Mobile Phones unit.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.