Nokia chairman Jorma Ollila picked Stephen Elop as CEO under threat
Just a day before Nokia announces itsquarterly and yearly results, some ground-breaking news about thecompany's CEO appeared on the Finnish daily Kauppalehti. Thenewspaper claims that Nokia's chairman, Jorma Ollila, started to lookfor a replacement to Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as early as spring 2010.But the search was a mere formality as Ollila had already picked hisfavorite - Anssi Vanjoki, former VP of the Finnish company.Vanjoki was getting ready to step in as the company's head honchowhen just a week before the announcement of the new CEO, ex-MicrosoftStephen Elop's name surfaced.
The report states that Espoo chairmanOllila was threatened by American investors to pick a man fromoverseas. Vanjoki quit almost immediately after it was announced thatElop will be the new chief executive officer.
Does this mean that we could have seena totally different Nokia than what we have today? Probably,but most importantly it shows that there was some tension in thecompany as even its highest ranking staff could not agree on itsfuture. The results for the last quarter of this year should reflecta key period in the “Elop era” with the company's newestflagship, the Nokia N8. Its brilliant camera could have lured manybut the Symbian UI, even in Symbian^3 remains dated and is in urgentneed for a facelift.
In anticipation of the company'srelease tomorrow, we should mention that Nokia has been quietrecently and is expected to launch new handsets at MWC inBarcelona in February. Russian blogger and tech analyst EldarMurtazin 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 expectedby the Finns.