Nokia Supremo Ojanperä Leaves To Invest In Windows Apps

Dr. Tero Ojanperä

Nokia’s latest high-level departure is its long-time executive Tero Ojanperä.

But Ojanperä will remain connected with Nokia (NYSE: NOK), which says it will be an anchor investor in Ojanperä’s new investment fund, Vision+. That fund, Nokia says, will fund apps and games “for Nokia supported platforms, especially for Windows Phone platform”.

The idea is “part of an ongoing strategy to broaden application and games development for Nokia’s ecosystem“, but it sounds like Vision+ is mostly a Windows apps drive.

Nokia calls Vision+’s approach “unique” – it will “match-make” app projects “directly with customers”, “resulting in new innovations coming onto the market more quickly”. Developers will keep their IP; Vision+ will share revenue from products. The fund is looking for apps in gaming, entertainment, education and health, but also wants to move in to clean water and energy.

“My new role at Vision+ will give me a fantastic opportunity to leverage my strong industry relationships and versatile experience built up within Nokia and the surrounding mobile ecosystem,” Ojanperä says in the announcement. “Vision+ will be able to provide support to developers and entrepreneurs when they plan to introduce the best visions and product concepts into global and local markets.”

It’s emblematic of the shift at Nokia that Ojanperä, a Nokia veteran of 21 years, is throwing both leaving and throwing his weight behind Windows Phone, albeit with personal up-side. Nokia, which has long had an active Symbian developer community, is going to need a concert effort if it, and not just Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), is going to marshall that community to make Windows apps for it.

He had been CTO and most notably EVP of entertainment and research. Most recently, however, he was generally an EVP, in his words “chief proponent of Ovi”, and had steered the Nokia Bridge programme, which launched this April ” to promote innovation and entrepreneurship for employees affected by Nokia’s workforce alignment initiaties“.

Rumour of his exit had come quickly after Stephen Elop became CEO back in February. Nokia’s CTO is on leave of absence, chairman Jorma Ollila is due to step down by 2012.

Ojanperä was something of a rock star exec at the mobile maker. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, in the announcement, credits Ojanperä’s “significant contributes” (sic) to the firm “and we very much look forward to supporting Tero in this new role”.

In a Q&A with Nokia Conversations last year, Ojanperä had said: “If I wasn’t working for Nokia I’d be doing something similar in some other company.”

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