Nokia's chief technology officer takes leave of absence
Rich Green is not necessarily going to return to Nokia, following differences of opinion
The Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia’s board member and chief technology officer, SVP Rich Green, has taken leave of absence for personal reasons.
Nokia confirms this but refrains from releasing further information with regard to the length of Green’s time off or the reasons behind it.
According to information obtained by Helsingin Sanomat from two independent sources, Green will remain absent at least until the end of the year, and will most likely not return to Nokia, owing to fundamental differences of opinion over the company’s strategy.
Within Nokia, Green has been a much respected director with a large knowledge base in software technology. Before coming to Nokia, Green was employed by the software house Sun Microsystems.
Behind Nokia’s present problems lies the company’s failure to recognise the significance of the software side in its operative business. For far too long the firm’s top management relied on the out-dated and flawed Symbian platform.
According to the information obtained by Helsingin Sanomat, the differences of opinion with Green have at least to a certain extent had to do with the company’s decision to abandon the Meego operating system that Nokia had developed in cooperation with the semiconductor firm Intel.
According to one interpretation, Green would have wanted to continue the development of Meego.
In February, Nokia decided to give up on Symbian and Meego in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone software as the primary operating system for the company’s smartphone range.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has said that Nokia had to abandon Meego, because developing an entirely new range of phones based on this platform would have taken years.
In February CEO Elop sacked board member Alberto Torres, who had been running the development of Meego before Green took this over.
In the opinion of many former and present Nokia directors, Torres’s indecision was one of the reasons why Meego failed to take off.
In a separate development, Nokia’s share price went down by 4.2 per cent on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
By the end of the day the price per share for Nokia stood at EUR 4.30.
The quoted price was even lower than on Tuesday of last week, when Nokia issued a profit warning saying that its turnover in Devices and Services for this year was going to come in significantly below what had been previously estimated.
On Wednesday, rumours started spreading in the media that the South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung would have considered buying Nokia.
According to the media, Samsung readily denied the information.
The American business newspaper The Wall Street Journal speculated that the rumour may have been started by investors who wanted to boost the price in order to sell their Nokia holdings as profitably as possible.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Nokia shares plummet after company issues profit warning (1.6.2011)
Nokia troubles cause financial problems for several Finnish municipalities (30.5.2011)
Nokia commences sales of dual SIM phone (25.5.2011)
Nokia result exceeds gloomy analysts´ forecasts, but outlook remains cloudy while smartphone sales lag behind the competition (21.4.2011)
More than 1,000 Nokia employees walk out in Tampere in protest at Symbian phase-out (11.2.2011)
Announcement of strategic partnership with Microsoft leads to sharp falls in Nokia stock in Helsinki (11.2.2011)
Nokia revamps organisational structure to boost business activities (12.5.2010)
Nokia: Rich Green