In an unsurprising yet major shake-up for the mobile industry, Nokia has announced that it will replace current CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with former Microsoft executive Stephan Elop. The ex-president of Redmond’s business software group — putting him in charge of the Office lineup — Canadian-born Elop will begin his new position on September 21st, just days after his predecessor gives a final keynote speech at the annual Nokia World event in London.
Elop, a high-level executive at Juniper Systems and Adobe before joining Microsoft in 2008, enters a company that has been struggling to remain relevant in the high-end smartphone market as relatively-recent competitors Apple and Google have made strong inroads at Espoo’s expense. Profits for this last quarter were down 40% year-over-year, with reported shipments of 111.1 million handsets seen as a letdown by investors.
Nokia is currently in the unenviable position of juggling multiple, dynamic operating systems: many of its phones run Symbian^3, which will soon see an upgrade to Symbian^4, while it has abandoned homegrown OS Maemo in favor of a platform jointly developed with Intel and known as MeeGo. Now that the company has cut off its own head in an effort to save the body, we’re even more interested in the software/hardware combinations it will begin using to draw customers back into the fold.