Nokia, headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighboring Finland's capital Helsinki, is the largest maker of cell phones. Despite having a relatively low share of the U.S. smartphone market, on a global scale Nokia is the most dominant player.
The company announced last week that it was hiring former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop (who also served as a top executive at Macromedia, Adobe, and Juniper Networks) as its new CEO, the company's first non-Finnish CEO. Only a week after the major shakeup, the company's top Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki has resigned.
Mr. Vanjoki was seen as the number 2 figure at Nokia according to The Register. When it came time to replace departing CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, he reportedly was considered a strong internal candidate for the position.
However, Mr. Vanjoki's statement offered no hint of being scorned. He commented, "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 solutions."
Former CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was forced out of Nokia due to the company's struggles in establishing itself in the smartphone market amid more agile solutions from Apple and Google. The loss of Mr. Vanjoki, an insider that could have eased the transition of a foreign CEO, is a major blow to the company's efforts to turn the corner in the smartphone industry.
Mr. Vanjoki, who turns 54 today, had been with Nokia 19 years and holds a masters degree in economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He came to the company from an executive position at American chemical conglomerate 3M. With Nokia he masterminded the development and launch of the company's first smartphones -- the N Series (at the time he was head of the Multimedia unit).