Jolla, the Finnish company that hopes to make big things out of the also-ran MeeGo operating system, is about to have a new leader — little more than half a year after the current one assumed the role.
When I first sat down with Jolla in September of last year, I was talking to CEO Jussi Hurmola. A month later, Hurmola was out, moving to a strategic role around Sailfish, Jolla’s open-source, MeeGo-derived OS. He was replaced by Marc Dillon, who went on to lead the official unveiling of Sailfish OS.
As of Monday, Dillon will be Jolla’s new head of software development (a role he was already carrying out, anyway). The new CEO, Tomi Pienimäki, was previously CTO then CIO at Itella Corporation, a Finnish logistics outfit.
At first glance, it looks like Jolla has opted to go for a more business-centric leader – Dillon is quite a developer evangelist type – now that it’s signed serious deals with the likes of Chinese handset distributor D.Phone and Finnish carrier DNA, and is preparing to reveal its handset later this month.
Here’s what Pienimäki said in a statement on Friday:
“Jolla is a great company with an exciting and promising future. I truly believe we can make a difference and bring something unique to the consumers. My task is to listen very closely to our customers and further build the collaboration network. I also want to ensure that our team can fully concentrate on the most important task: bringing the first device to the market this year.”
Jolla Chairman Antti Saarnio thanked Dillon for his “inspirational leadership in the CEO role during the past months” and Dillon himself said he was excited to “be able to give 100 percent attention to what I love – working on the product with the Jolla team.”
Interestingly, Jolla also noted that it has Ari Jaaksi on its board. Jaaksi was the head of the doomed MeeGo project at Nokia(s nok) before jumping ship to lead HP(s hpq)’s doomed WebOS team. Hopefully he can break with tradition this time.
Hong Kong telecoms and mining giant China Fortune, which has a 6.25 percent stake in Jolla, also has a representative on the board in the shape of Steve Lau, while other board members include private investors’ representative Mohamed Boukerche and Stefano Mosconi, Jolla co-founder and CTO.