Nokia restructures for high-end handset battle
Nokia, the world’s leading handset manufacturer, has announced a structural and managerial shake-up designed to improve its performance in the high end smartphone segment as well as its growing services portfolio.
In a move that signals the firm’s concerns in the top end of the handset market, where it has recently lost ground to Apple and Android, a new unit has been created to oversee the production of smartphones and mobile computers. The Mobile Solutions unit will be headed by Anssi Vanjoki, a Nokia veteran with nearly 20 years’ service. The rest of the company will be split between two other new units: Mobile Phones and Markets.
Nokia said that the reorganisation, which will become effective on July 1st this year, will “increase competitiveness and deliver a stronger and more differentiated consumer experience.” Last week, speaking to shareholders at the company’s AGM, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo pledged to regain ground in the lucrative smartphone market, conceding the firm’s recent shortcomings.
“We are working hard to reclaim leadership in high-end smartphones and mobile computers,” he said. “It is critical that we improve the customer experience with the usability of both our devices and our services.”
Vanjoki, who between 2004 and 2008 was responsible for Nokia’s Multimedia unit and its NSeries smartphones, is now responsible for fulfilling those pledges, with the firm’s services strategy now part under his new Solutions unit. This will focus on the continued integration of the Ovi services offering into both smartphones and portable computers. Vanjoki will count among his direct reports Rich Green, who has been appointed Nokia’s new chief technology officer.
The Mobile Phones unit, to be headed by Mary McDowell, will manage the lower tiers of Nokia’s output, essential to retain the firm’s overall volume leadership in the handset space, likely to come under increasing attach from Far Eastern vendors. The Markets unit, under the direction of Niklas Savander, will oversee sales and marketing functions as well as sourcing and supply chain management.
Rick Simonson, who currently leads the Mobile Phones unit has announced his intention to retire from Nokia.