Nokia replaces Kallasvuo with ex-Microsoft exec

The chief executive post at Nokia is about to change hands, as the company confirms Stephen Elop will take on the role later this month.

Nokia

Nokia has confirmed the exit of chief executive (CEO) Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, following months of rumours suggesting the firm was looking to give him the boot.

The Finnish mobile manufacturer hasn't confirmed whether Kallasvuo jumped or was pushed, but did verify he would remain on as chair of the board of Nokia Siemens Networks in a non-executive capacity.

He is set to be replaced on 21 September by Canadian-born Stephen Elop, the current president of Microsoft's business division.

"The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success," said Jorma Ollila, chairman of the Nokia board of directors.

"The Nokia board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realise the full potential of Nokia."

Some analysts are unsure of the move, however, with Nick Jones, vice president and analyst at Gartner, saying it left him in "two minds."

"Microsoft has many of the same problems as Nokia in terms of innovation, especially in the smartphone business," he said. "Steve Elop is an American which the investors will like but I'm not sure he brings any specific skills that will fix Nokia's challenges."

"Although, having an ex-Microsoft person running Nokia suggests lots of interesting possibilities for the future. Nokia plus Microsoft allying to fight Google and Apple. Now there's a thought (and I stress it's a thought not a Gartner prediction)."

Rumours of Kallasvuo's departure began back in July when the Wall Street Journal claimed Nokia had been flying over executives from the US to Finland in order to interview them for the role.

Kallasvuo, who will receive a severance package adding up to 4.6 million (3.8 million), did not release a statement.

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