Nokia's smartphone chief Vanjoki resigns

The management shakeup at Nokia (NYSE:NOK) continues. Anssi Vanjoki, a long-time executive and currently the head of the company's smartphone unit, announced his resignation; his departure comes days after Nokia announced it would replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as CEO with Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who will take the reins Sept. 21.

Assni Vanoki nokia smartphones elopVanjoki, a 20-year Nokia veteran, gave the company a six-month notice and will continue in his position. Nokia did not name anyone to replace Vanjoki. "I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life," Vanjoki said in a statement. "At the same time, I am 100 percent committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day. I am also really looking forward to this year's Nokia World and sharing news about exciting new devices and solutions."

The company's annual Nokia World event in London starts Tuesday.

Vanjoki joined Nokia in 1991 and has held a variety of positions within the world's largest handset maker. In May, in a management reshuffling, he was named the chief of the company's Mobile Solutions unit, geared toward developing Nokia's smartphone business. Nokia still leads the world in smartphone market share thanks to the reach of the Symbian platform, but Nokia executives have conceded that the company needs to regain momentum from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google and others in the smartphone market. Nokia's smartphone market share fell to 37.4 percent in the second quarter, down from 45 percent a year earlier, according to Gartner.

Analysts said that Vanjoki's departure might signal other shake-ups in management as Elop reviews the company's strategy and decides to make changes. It is unlikely there will be any dramatic shifts in the next few months, however. Nokia is pushing its Symbian^3 operating system and plans to release a high-end device running on MeeGo, which Vanjoki helped spearhead, by the end of the year. In July, Vanjoki published a much-discussed company blog post titled "the fightback starts now," in which he pumped up both Symbian and MeeGo. 

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this AllThingsD post

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