It took a little longer than expected, but Nokia will finally be replacing Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (OPK). In July the Wall Street Journal reported that the Finnish phone maker’s president and CEO is on his way out and might be replaced as soon as the end of the month.
Nokia’s board of directors might have taken a bit more time, but has now announced that Stephen Elop
, who is currently head of Microsoft’s Business Division, has been appointed as president and chief executive officer of Nokia starting from 21 September.
“The time is right to accelerate the company’s renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success,” said Jorma Ollila, chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors.
“The Nokia Board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realize the full potential of Nokia. His strong software background and proven record in change management will be valuable assets as we press harder to complete the transformation of the company. We believe that Stephen will be able to drive both innovation and efficient execution of the company strategy in order to deliver increased value to our shareholders.”
“I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia’s position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers,” stated Elop.
“Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services.”
OPK will vacate the position of president and CEO of Nokia on 20 September and his position on the Nokia Board of Directors with immediate effect, but he will remain as chair of the Board of Nokia Siemens Networks
in a non-executive capacity.
“The whole Board of Directors joins me in thanking Olli-Pekka for his thirty years at Nokia, during which he has been deeply involved in developing the company and its operations. His dedication and contribution throughout the years has been exceptional. The Board wishes him every success in his future pursuits,” said Jorma Ollila.
As stipulated by his service contract, OPK is entitled to a severance payment package that consists of 18 months gross base salary as well as target incentive which totals around 4.6 million euro (over R42 million). He will also receive as compensation the fair market value of the 100 000 restricted Nokia shares granted to him in 2007, which vest on 1 October 2010.