After quarterly loss, a front-office reshuffling at Nokia

Nokia appointed its CFO as head of its low-end phones business one day after the handset maker reported its worst quarterly results since the company began quarterly reporting in 1996.

Nokia said CFO Rick Simonson will take over the Mobile Phones unit within Nokia's devices business as of Nov. 1, and also will direct "strategic sourcing" for the entire devices business. In turn, Simonson will be replaced as CFO on Nov. 1 by Timo Ihamuotila, currently the global head of sales. Additionally, according to Reuters, Jo Harlow will move from being senior vice president of global marketing for Nokia's handsets to running the company's Smartphones unit, the other unit in Nokia's devices business. Both the Mobile Phones and Smartphone units were created Oct. 1. 

The reshuffling comes in the wake of Nokia's $834 million net loss in the third quarter. The loss was mostly related to a writedown of the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture, but there also were troubling signs on the handset front. Nokia shipped 108.5 million units in the quarter, up sequentially but down 8 percent from the 117.8 million it shipped in the year-ago quarter. Total handset sales were down in every geographical region on a year-over-year basis.

But perhaps most troubling was Nokia's smartphone performance. The company shipped 16.4 million smartphones in the quarter, down from 16.9 million in the second quarter. As a result, its smartphone market share fell to 35 percent, down from 41 percent in the second quarter. Though it still commands the global smartphone market share lead, according to estimates from UBS analyst Maynard Um, RIM will command 18 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter, while Apple will enjoy 15 percent. 

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article

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