'Nokia's Steve Jobs' quits after snub as CEO
Published 14/09/2010 | 15:24
The man regarded by some as "the Steve Jobs of Nokia" has resigned as head of Finnish company's smartphone division in the first big change since Nokia replaced its chief executive last week.
Anssi Vanjoki, a 19-year Nokia veteran, quit on the eve of Nokia World, the company's annual trade fair, which starts in London on Tuesday.
It is thought that Mr Vanjoki stepped down in frustration after he was overlooked as a replacement for chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallusvo.
Mr Vanjoki, who was widely regarded as Mr Kallusvo's number two, was the leading internal candidate for the top job.
However, in a break with tradition, Nokia appointed Stephen Elop, head of Microsoft's business division, as its chief executive on Friday.
Mr Elop, who takes the reins on September 21, will be the first non-Finn to lead the company.
Ben Wood, an analyst at CSS Insight said Mr Vanjoki was widely regarded as "the public face of Nokia" and a "key engineer of Nokia's phenomenal success " in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Mr Wood said he expected Mr Vanjoki's exit to be "the first of a series of management changes".
Mr Anssi is the last remaining member of chairman Jorma Ollila's "dream team" who helped transform Nokia into the world's biggest mobile phone maker.
But in recent years Nokia has lost its stranglehold on the important high-end market following the launch of Apple's ground-breaking iPhone and devices powered by Google's Android operating system.
Nokia's share of the smartphone market has dropped to 37.4pc, compared to 45pc a year ago according to Gartner technology analysts.
Mr Vanjoki said he was still "100pc committed to doing my very best for Nokia until my very last day".
On his second day as head of Nokia's smartphone division earlier this summer, he said: "I am committed, perhaps even obsessed, with getting Nokia back to being number one in high-end devices."