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Nokia CTO Richard Green
Takes leave of absence, possibly a permanent one

It's been nearly eight months since we last reported a major Nokia executive's defection from the struggling company — after a string of them [1 2 3]. But the brief lull doesn't make today's news about the possible resignation of Nokia's chief technology officer any better for the Finland-based handset manufacturer.

According to Reuters, Nokia CTO Richard Green took a leave of absence and was unlikely to return over disagreements with the company's management decisions, namely ditching MeeGo in favor of Windows Phone.

A spokesperson told Reuters that Henry Tirri, head of Nokia Research Center, will be the acting CTO in the interim, and would not confirm whether or not Green was gone for good (only that he'd taken a leave of absence).

Meanwhile, Nokia's struggles have prompted speculation that the company is a target for takeover by another company. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop dismissed those rumors as "baseless," saying the company was not for sale.

Nokia's troubles in the market appear to be accelerating, too. Last week, the company warned its second quarter results would be far below earlier forecasts, and the S&P cut its debt rating for Nokia, placing it on CreditWatch. This was after Fitch ratings agency placed Nokia's bonds one notch above junk grade.

"I think that this ... will confirm to the most skeptical people that Nokia can never make a turnaround," Strand Consult Head John Strand told Reuters. "The victim here is again the shareholder."

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Thats what happens...
By SSDMaster on 6/9/2011 8:22:05 AM , Rating: 4
When executives make all the decisions and don't consult their IT guys. Win7 for Nokia? Who in the company supported THAT decision. Ridiculous.

RE: Thats what happens...
By CrazyBernie on 6/9/2011 8:36:51 AM , Rating: 4
1. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Nokia's CEO is a former Microsoft Exec... nothing at all.

2. When a company is about to sink, sometimes the most outlandish of tactics can turn things around completely.

RE: Thats what happens...
By mcnabney on 6/9/2011 3:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because if there is one thing Europeans want it is Microsoft in more of their stuff.

RE: Thats what happens...
By EBH on 6/9/2011 3:41:29 PM , Rating: 1
I thought it was Muslim immigrants.

RE: Thats what happens...
By tayb on 6/9/2011 8:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
It probably has more to do with what OS they chose as opposed to a lack of communication. They are certainly jumping ship early though. I think Windows Phone 7 has the best UI of any smartphone OS.

RE: Thats what happens...
By robinthakur on 6/9/2011 10:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but what exactly is in it for Nokia? Their hardware was historically quite good, but is it that much better than HTC and all the other no name brands which build for android or Windows Phone to be able to distinguish them?

My last Nokia phone before I bought an iPhone (and never looked back), was a plasticky N70 which flexed when you prodded it. Perhaps they have come on since then, but I haven't met anyone in the last couple of years who still used a nokia so couldn't comment.

I think that rather than seeing this as an alliance of MS and Nokia, its more between Windows 7 Mobile OS and Nokia hardware i.e. 2 rather weak competitors which are both fighting to stay relevant, kind of like Bing working with Yahoo...

RE: Thats what happens...
By dani31 on 6/9/2011 10:31:37 AM , Rating: 5
Their biggest mistake was announcing it almost an year before having a product on the market.

That drove away Symbian customers and developers alike - that is why they keep lowering their forecasts. How could they be so blind???

If Nokia came three months ago showing a marvelous WP7 phone available immediately no one would have complained.

RE: Thats what happens...
By mcnabney on 6/9/2011 3:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft wrote that big check to help THEM and prop-up their struggling mobile OS. They wouldn't cough up a couple billion for a promise made in secret. Now MS is still out the money and Nokia is kerploding even more rapidly.

Countdown to MS buying Nokia in 3...2...1...

RE: Thats what happens...
By fteoath64 on 6/10/2011 4:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. But Nokia can hardly conceal such facts (that they had to abandon Symbian and Meego) because of the MS alliance. It is just an unfortunate side-effect.

The issue I have is that Nokia should at least release some mid-end to mid-lower end handsets based on WP7 (pre-mango) and allowing upgrade to Mango 1.0 when released. Holding on to Mango readiness is closing their market opportunities very quickly. I see a lot of cheap Nokia S40 handsets on "firesale" in the local mall. Not a lot of takers surprisingly considering froyo based devices from Chinese manufacturers are similarly priced. (See this market window closing ?)

RE: Thats what happens...
By retrospooty on 6/9/2011 8:42:33 AM , Rating: 2
"Win7 for Nokia? Who in the company supported THAT decision. Ridiculous. "

Probably the same yahoo's that supported Symbian for so long while the world passed it by. Some people are just clueless.

RE: Thats what happens...
By amanojaku on 6/9/2011 8:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand is why a company can't make multiple OSes available for a phone. Imagine a Nokia with a choice of Android, MeeGo, Symbian, or Win Phone 7. Nokia wouldn't even have to develop most of the code; it would just need to focus on hardware compatibility testing, no? Smart phones are just mini PCs!

RE: Thats what happens...
By luv2liv on 6/9/2011 8:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
so true!
wasnt there a rumor that MS paid Nokia $$$$$$$$$ to use windows?
the same situation on gaming consoles. why not make games on all the consoles.

RE: Thats what happens...
By Flunk on 6/9/2011 9:12:58 AM , Rating: 3
That's not a rumor, they did pay Nokia to use Windows Phone.

RE: Thats what happens...
By mcnabney on 6/9/2011 3:24:17 PM , Rating: 3
Over a billion.

And they would get the WP7 licenses for free.

Kind of reminds me of Intel paying Dell a bunch of money to snub AMD and then also giving Dell a far-below market value price on CPUs.

RE: Thats what happens...
By Castaway on 6/11/2011 10:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Nokia will have to pay a license fee to MS for every WP device sold, estimated to be to the tune of 10-15 USD.

RE: Thats what happens...
By Flunk on 6/9/2011 9:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
HTC does that, why not buy from them?

RE: Thats what happens...
By Aloonatic on 6/10/2011 4:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
Please forgive my ignorance but...

From a purely technical viewpoint (ignoring marketing deals and other such reasons), why can't I go into a phone shop and choose a phone, and then choose what OS I want to run on it? Assuming that it meets minimum specs of course?

RE: Thats what happens...
By nikon133 on 6/9/2011 10:50:22 AM , Rating: 5
Just another exec who had all the resources and excellent starting point to keep Nokia at the top of the game... But failed miserably.

Honestly, I think it will work nicely for Nokia to refresh their executive blood, considering that current blood was not able to lead what was the most successful mobile phone company. All these people leaving Nokia today are people who failed to cash in MeeGoo and stayed for ever with "safe", slow-death Symbian, missing so many opportunities and almost killing Nokia.

I would send them off anyway. I don't know if it is too late to save Nokia or not, but either way, I'd never have faith in those guys to pull it over.

RE: Thats what happens...
By Castaway on 6/11/2011 11:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
Rich Green worked for Nokia for just over a year, and was a strong MeeGo/Qt proponent. He didn't belong to old guard. He was part of the "fresh blood" brought in by Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo only last year.

What comes to the partnership in general, it's clear to anyone following the news who's the one pulling the strings. Nokia is just playing the part of the puppet. The most blatant evidence of this was the WP announcement way before any devices were scheduled to be released, which is now rapidly strangling Nokia's smartphone business. I wonder if MS thought if the timing of the announcement would be detrimental to their new partner.

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