One of two things is happening at Nokia right now – the Finnish telecom company is in a serious state of transition, or it has a serious problem with talent retention. Finnish online news site Talous Sanomat is reporting that Ari Jaaksi, the VP in charge of Nokia’s Meego Devices, has tendered his resignation.
For those of you keeping count, this is the third high-profile executive to leave the company in less than a month. In September, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was replaced by former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop. Days later, Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki, head of Nokia’s N-Series, announced he would be leaving the company within the next six months. Vanjoki admitted his departure was inspired by being overlooked for the open CEO position.
According to Talous Sanomat, Jaaksi has worked at Nokia since 1998. In 2003, he began working on Nokia’s Linux-based Maemo OS, which merged with Intel’s Moblin OS last February to become MeeGo. MeeGo will power all of Nokia’s forthcoming smartphones, with the exception of N8, which will be the last to run Symbian. Its successor, the N9, has been touted by Nokia as the company’s flagship phone, set to take on its iPhone and Android competitors. Engadget pointed out that Mobile-Review’s Eldar Murtazin called MeeGo “not so good at the moment,” despite the N9 hardware being “near perfect.”
“Nokia needs to step up on the MeeGo side. MeeGo has grown up from Maemo and there is much more at stake now,” Gartner analyst Carolina Milanes told The Economic Times. “They need someone who understands mobile and PC, who might be closer to Intel and a much better public person.”
Jaaksi will be replaced by Alberto Torres, who has been the executive vice president of mobile solutions since last year.
Engadget investigated what the shakeup means for MeeGo’s planned Q4 roll-out, which a Nokia spokesperson said would not be affected. Another spokesperson cryptically told Engadget that an “update on MeeGo” will be announced by year’s end.
This comes at a critical time for the mobile company that has been quickly losing market share to its smartphone competitors, and ranked dead last in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey.
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