Nokia has unveiled its fourth executive team reshuffle in as many years, as it scrabbles to find an answer to the iPhone.
In the latest revamp, current mobile phones chief Rick Simonson has retired, and the firm has restructured the handset division into three groups - mobile solutions, mobile phones and markets.
The changes take effect from July 1.
The critical area is the new mobile solutions group, which will be responsible for high-end smartphones and tablets, and will be headed by executive vice president and markets chief Anssi Vanjoki.
Nokia’s new mobile phones division will make basic and feature phones, while the markets group will handle sales, marketing, and global supply chains.
CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said the new structure “is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation, both short-term and longer-term,” while enabling it to “to build stronger mobile solutions,” through tighter integration of content, applications, and services with its devices.
A spokesman told Telecoms Europe.net the changes are “not about tearing down one structure to replace [it] with another.” Instead, they form part of an evolution of the firm that began seven months ago when the firm announced a “significant restructure.”
However, analysts were sceptical about the impact and timing of the latest changes, which came a week after the firm’s AGM.
Swedbank analyst Jari Honko told WSJ.com the changes were “worrying,” and said the revised structure would have little impact on Nokia’s position in the high-end smartphone market.
Nokia grew its share of the smartphone market 1.8% to 40% year-on-year in 1Q10, compared with a 5.8% rise in Apple’s share to 16.4%, the New York Times reports, citing figures from Strategy Analytics.
However, the latest changes have the full backing of Nokia’s board, and won’t distract the company from its short-term goals, the spokesman told TE.net.
He confirmed Simonsen’s departure was for personal reasons rather than a reflection of his performance, noting the executive will still hold an advisory role within Nokia Siemens Networks.