Nokia once more reshuffles top execs

Robert Clark
12 May 2010

Seeking an answer to the iPhone, Nokia has once more rearranged its top executives – its fourth reshuffle in less than four years.

In the latest revamp, the cellphone leader has retired current mobile phones chief Rick Simonson and restructured the handset group into three groups - mobile solutions, mobile phones and markets.

The critical area is the new mobile solutions group, to be headed by executive vice president and markets chief Anssi Vanjoki, which will be responsible for high-end smartphones and tablets.

The mobile phones division will make basic and feature phones, while the markets group will handle sales, marketing and global supply chains.

“Effective July 1, 2010, the move aims to accelerate product innovation and software execution in line with the company's goals of integrating content, applications and services into its mobile computer, smartphone and mobile phone portfolio,” the company said.

CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said the new structure “is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation, both short-term and longer-term.”

Nokia’s NYSE stock fell 26 cents following the announcement and another 3 cents in after-hours trading to close at $10.94. The stock is off 22% in the last three weeks since missing analysts’ estimates in its first-quarter result.

In the previous reshuffle last October Nokia appointed CFO Simonson to head up the mobile phones, then a unit in the devices division.

Vanjoki, whose job it is to find a rival to the iPhone, launched the successful N95 device in March 2007, just prior to the debut of the Apple bestseller.

The N95 sold more than 10 million units and helped boost the operating margin in devices to more than 21%, Bloomberg reported.

Since then, competition from Apple and RIM has driven down the margin to 12.1%.

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