Earlier this year, in June, we reported that Richard Green, who has been Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since May 2010, decided to take a leave of absence citing “personal reasons”. Today Nokia has made it official that he’s leaving the company effective immediately. His replacement is Henry Tirri, who has been with Nokia since 2004. His previous role was the Head of Nokia Research Centre. He’ll be based out of Sunnyvale, California, which is kind of controversial. Before Richard Green was the CTO of Nokia, there was Bob Iannucci. He tried to get Nokia to move a sizable portion of their research efforts to Silicon Valley, but management wouldn’t have it; too much Finnish pride. According to Nokia’s PR people, Bob resigned, but it was pretty obvious that he was forced out. Now that Stephen Elop is in charge, moving the folks that are responsible for the future of the company to California doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
The bigger question here is what exactly will Nokia actually do in terms of innovation now that they’re no longer making software? Correction, they’re still maintaining their Series 30 and Series 40 feature phone operating systems, but when it comes to smartphones Nokia has moved all of their Symbian staff to Accenture and are relying on Microsoft to do their thing with Windows Phone. Nokia basically just orders components, slaps them together, flashes some software, and then puts the finished product in a box. They could innovate around materials, possibly even create some components in conjunction with their partners … but what else is there?
Next month we’re going to see the first Nokia smartphones running Windows Phone. We don’t expect them to differ too much from the other Windows Phones that’ll be hitting the market in Q4 of this year because Nokia hasn’t had enough time to tinker with the software. What Nokia plans to do with Windows Phone in 2012 however is something we’re ridiculously interested in seeing.