Nokia chairman Jorma Ollila picked Stephen Elop as CEO under threat
Just a day before Nokia announces its quarterly and yearly results, some ground-breaking news about the company's CEO appeared on the Finnish daily Kauppalehti. The newspaper claims that Nokia's chairman, Jorma Ollila, started to look for a replacement to Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as early as spring 2010. But the search was a mere formality as Ollila had already picked his favorite - Anssi Vanjoki, former VP of the Finnish company. Vanjoki was getting ready to step in as the company's head honcho when just a week before the announcement of the new CEO, ex-Microsoft Stephen Elop's name surfaced.
The report states that Espoo chairman Ollila was threatened by American investors to pick a man from overseas. Vanjoki quit almost immediately after it was announced that Elop will be the new chief executive officer.
Does this mean that we could have seen a totally different Nokia than what we have today? Probably, but most importantly it shows that there was some tension in the company as even its highest ranking staff could not agree on its future. The results for the last quarter of this year should reflect a key period in the “Elop era” with the company's newest flagship, the Nokia N8. Its brilliant camera could have lured many but the Symbian UI, even in Symbian^3 remains dated and is in urgent need for a facelift.
In anticipation of the company's release tomorrow, we should mention that Nokia has been quiet recently and is expected to launch new handsets at MWC in Barcelona in February. Russian blogger and tech analyst Eldar Murtazin tweeted about an upcoming Nokia N9-01 with “good” camera and “OK” speed, but most importantly a “strange” UI, which is not finalized yet. Some mid-range handsets are also expected by the Finns.