Top 5 Candidates for Nokia's Exec Shakeup
Top of mind for Nokia is a new head of operating systems, head of North America, and lead for research and development. That means that the execs currently occupying those slots are likely headed for the chopping block.
That could include Mary McDowell, head of Nokia's handset unit; Niklas Savander, manager of the markets group; chief development officer Kai Oistamo; services lead Tero Ojanpera; or Henry Tirri, who leads Nokia's long-term research at R&D centers across the globe.
Nokia is not letting on who their replacements might be, but Light Reading Mobile has its own suggestions on the operating system front:
1) Robbie Bach, former president, entertainment and devices division, Microsoft Pulling a former Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) executive like Bach makes the most sense for Nokia, given that Elop has experience working with him and that Windows Phone 7 may be the most likely OS for Nokia to adopt. (See OS Watch: Will Nokia Embrace WP7?)
What makes Bach more attractive, however, is that he -- like Elop -- has learned from past mistakes in mobile, namely the failed Zune and Kin devices. He could advise Nokia on how to pull themselves out from the bottom. (See Has Microsoft Missed Its Mobile Moment?)
2) Andy Rubin, head of Android, Google Scoring Rubin, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android chief, would be a huge coup for Nokia, which has been pressured to adopt Android as well. The pressure was especially on after the fourth quarter, when Android surpassed Symbian Ltd. in global market share for the first time in 10 years. (See Android Dethrones Symbian Globally.)
This makes a Rubin a hard get for Nokia, but one that would certainly be game-changing for the company's OS ambitions.
3) Andrew Lees, president, Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business If Bach says no, Lees would make a great backup hire. He has the software talent Nokia needs and the Microsoft connection to make WP7 an effective part of its OS portfolio.
4) Michael Abbott, VP of engineering, Twitter Abbott, the man credited with developing Palm Inc. 's webOS, jumped ship from Palm when rumors of its pending acquisition by HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) were gaining credibility last year. He has since served as VP of engineering for Twitter Inc. , where he builds Web-based apps and services. Abbot has the credibility Nokia needs, not to mention experience in a markedly similar situation.
Palm, a once-thriving OS, decided to add Windows Mobile devices to the mix in 2006 when its market share started to dwindle. That ended just three years later when Palm developed its own webOS and eventually was acquired by HP. It remains to be seen if the multiple-OS strategy works better for Nokia, but recruiting the man who reinvented Palm's software could help Nokia go down the same path. (See HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B.)
5) Judd Bowman, president and CEO, PocketGear Bowman heads up massive independent app store PocketGear, which recently relaunched as a white-label business, but before that he founded Motricity Inc. . The startup, a mobile data services provider, works with all the major wireless operators in the U.S., partners Nokia desperately needs. (See PocketGear Goes White Label.)
At Motricity, Bowman grew the company to $100 million in annual revenue. He knows what it takes to work with the wireless operators and create compelling experiences with mobile data. Thanks to PocketGear, he also knows the app store world inside out and has solid relationships with mobile developers. He'd bring a fresh, startup-minded perspective to Nokia, a company that needs to modernize and think outside the box.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile