Nokia to replace CEO next year

Jorma Ollila, a well-known and highly respected name in the mobile phone manufacturing business, will resign as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Nokia Corp. next year, the company announced Monday.

Ollila, 54, has been at the helm of the world's largest mobile phone maker for more than 13 years. He will be replaced by Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on June 1, 2006, Nokia said in a statement.

Kallasvuo, 51, who currently heads Nokia's mobile phones business unit and was previously the company's chief financial officer (CFO), will also take over as Nokia's president and chief operating officer (COO) effective Oct.1, 2005, the company said.

Nokia's current president, Pekka Ala-Pietilä, has decided to resign due to personal reasons. He will take on the role of executive advisor as of Oct. 1 and leave the company Feb. 1, 2006.

Ollila, who will continue as non-executive chairman from June 1 of next year, is credited with transforming Nokia from a diversified manufacturer of paper, rubber, cables and more into one of the world's largest suppliers of mobile phones and wireless infrastructure equipment.

Over the past several months, Nokia has replaced several key executives in a move to bring in fresh talent as the company battles increased competition, particularly from manufacturers of low-cost handsets in Asia.

In December, long-time Nokia executive Sari Baldauf, president of the group's network business, resigned and was replaced by Simon Beresford-Wylie.

A month earlier, the company named Tero Ojanperä as its new chief strategy officer and group executive board member, replacing Matti Alahuhta.

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