Lack Of iPhone Competitor May Lead To Nokia CEO’s Demise

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo

Nokia’s investors and analysts have increasingly been calling for a change in management with the hopes of breathing a breath of fresh air into the handset makers’ portfolio in its fight against the iPhone. But as recently as May, the board said it was satisfied, potentially tabling the issues altogether. Now, sources familiar with the matter, are claiming that the company has started a search for a new CEO, reports the WSJ.

The WSJ said a couple of U.S.-based executives have already interviewed for the job with at least one declining because the position would require relocating to Finland. A spokesperson declined to comment on rumors or speculation.

The investors and analysts aren’t so much concerned that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) doesn’t have an iPhone competitor for the sake of the company’s image, but rather that a majority of phones it sells are at the low-end (and therefore hurts the company’s margins). For instance, it sold 432 million devices in 2009, or more than its top three competitors combined, however, its average selling price for all models has plummeted 44 percent in the past five years to 62 euros. One way it hopes to boost earnings is by offering additional services on the phone. But even there, the company has steep competition. It is now giving away its turn-by-turn navigation services away after Google (NSDQ: GOOG) provided them at no cost on Android.

Things do change quickly in wireless. The company’s directors said in May that it approved of the company’s direction and this focus on services. Following the Finnish company’s annual meeting in May, Jorma Ollila, Nokia

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