The head of Nokia’s smartphone division has resigned, shaking the company’s executive ranks just days after Nokia parted ways with long-time CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in favor of Microsoft executive Stephen Elop.
The departure of Anssi Vanioki, head of Nokia’s Mobile Solutions unit, comes one day before the company’s annual Nokia World conference begins in London, where the company is expected to show off its new N8 smartphone and updated Symbian^3 operating system.
Vanioki will stay on at Nokia for the next six months and will “continue his current tasks for the time being,” the company said in a statement.
Vanioki oversees Nokia’s Mobile Solutions business, which is comprised of Nokia’s smartphones, mobile computers and Ovi brand.
Vanioki did not give a specific reason for his resignation, but said in a brief statement that he “felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life” and is “one hundred percent committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day.”
Vanioki’s resignation and Kallasvuo’s departure come as the company struggles to compete in the smartphone arena against its smaller, more nimble competitors.
Nokia is the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer by volume but its strength lies in the low end of the handset market, not in smartphones. The company has had difficulty gaining market share with high-end devices and faces significant competition from Google’s Android operating system and manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.