The news that Nokia had hired its first non-Finnish CEO in Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who starts next week, continues to reverberate. Yesterday saw the resignation of Anssi Vanjoki, the head of its smartphone business.
Today its chairman, Jorma Ollila (“the executive credited with turning the Finnish company into the world’s largest handset maker,” notes the Wall Street Journal) revealed that he will step down too, although not until 2012. The Journal added that today’s “surprise announcement, coming just days after Nokia said that it had hired Elop to replace its chief executive (Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo) signals that a deeper transformation could be in store at the company than many had anticipated.”
Elop’s challenges include restoring its former dominance in markets where it’s slipping in the face of competitors (notably, Apple and Google) steadily whittling away at its share of the European market, where the Nokia brand still dominates.
The company is reporting record attendance at Nokia World — its annual meeting with developers, partners, analysts, investors and press — in London. Nokia unveiled new phones (such as the biz-friendly E7) and announced there it’s bringing, with Orange, a new integrated Ovi service “that widens the developer ecosystem and gives Orange customers using Nokia handsets easier access to more content” to customers in the UK and France.