Nokia executive quits days after chief is ousted

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The Independent Online

The head of Nokia's smartphone business quit yesterday, with analysts speculating that his departure came after he was passed over for the role of chief executive.

Anssi Vanjoki, the executive vice-president and head of Nokia's Mobile Solutions division, announced his decision to resign after almost two decades at the group. "I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life," he said. Nokia said Mr Vanjoki "will continue in his current tasks for the time being," adding that he has a six-month notice period.

On Friday, Nokia announced that it had ousted Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as chief executive. The chairman, Jorma Olilla, said that after extensive scrutiny of internal and external candidates, the board had chosen the Microsoft executive Steve Elop to replace him. Nick Jones, an analyst at the research group Gartner, said: "I assume Anssi was one of the internal candidates considered for the chief executive job, and as he wasn't appointed now feels his position is not tenable," calling it "the first casualty of the new regime".

Mr Elop, who starts later this month, has a significant task on his hands to turn Nokia around, especially its smartphone business.

Mr Jones believes there will be more departures: "Anssi is the first change in the executive team but I don't think he will be the last."