Nokia searching for new CEO, report says

Struggling to keep up with newer and more inventive rivals, number one phone maker Nokia is looking for a new CEO, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

While still the biggest phone maker in the world, Nokia has been losing market share in the growing smartphone segment. A March report from Canalys gave the company a 39% market share in the smartphone sector, down from 41% a year earlier in the face of competition from companies like Apple and Google. As a result, some analysts have been suggesting that a leadership shakeup might help reverse market share declines and stagnating revenue at the Finnish giant.

In June, Nokia warned that its second quarter earnings report, due out Thursday, would be lower than expected. It blamed competition at the high end of the market, a shift in product mix toward lower margin products and the depreciation of the euro.

Olli-Pekka Kallusvuo, president and CEO, has been with Nokia since 1980, when he joined as corporate counsel, according to his biography on the company web site. In 2006 he took over as CEO, replacing Jorma Ollila[cq]. He had a tough act to follow. Ollila was so beloved, that some people called for him to run for president of Finland.

Nokia declined to comment on the report. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed people who said the company had launched a search for a new CEO.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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