Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is searching for a replacement for CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the latest sign that the world's largest handset maker is struggling to maintain its footing in an increasingly competitive market.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said the company is actively looking for a replacement for Kallasvuo, who has been at the helm since 2006. "They are serious about making a change,'' one source familiar with the matter told the Journal. Nokia board members are "supposed to make a decision by the end of the month,'' the source added.
Nokia spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong declined to comment on the report.
This is a delicate time for Nokia as the company tries to rebound in the smartphone market with the release of devices this year running the Symbian^3 and MeeGo operating systems. Nokia, which still leads the industry in terms of handset and smartphone market share, has acknowledged that it needs to regain the momentum it has lost to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), smartphones running Google's Android platform and others.
Kallasvuo promised in May that Nokia will release smartphones this year that will "help close the gap" with rivals. Shortly after that, Nokia reshuffled its organizational chart for the second time in seven months, promising that its new streamlined management structure will help spur execution and innovation.
In June, the company issued a warning on its second-quarter financial performance, and said that its second-quarter sales and margins in its key devices and services unit will be weaker than expected. Nokia reports earnings July 22.
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