Nokia CTO takes leave of absence

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The beleaguered mobile phone group Nokia has been hit by more bad news after its chief technology officer, Rich Green, went on a leave of absence believed to have been triggered by a dispute over strategy.

A Nokia spokesman said Mr Green "has taken leave to attend to a personal matter. We have not provided a specific timetable for his return." He did not comment on reports that he disagreed over the company's direction. Henry Tirri, the head of Nokia Research Centre, will take over.

The new chief executive, Stephen Elop, has outlined a £1bn cost-cutting plan and signed a significant deal with Microsoft in an attempt to crack the lucrative smartphone market.

Yet the group warned on full-year profits earlier this month after sales tumbled in the second quarter.