Its time for Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo to resign.
Analysts say thats because Kallasvuo, whos been at the cell phone-makers helm since June 2006, has failed to mount any serious smartphone response to rivals Apple Inc. and Research In Motion.
To be sure, Nokia remains the worlds largest phone manufacturer but it is losing its footing the company has watched about $70 billion in market value vanish since the Apple iPhone launched in 2007 and executives have lowered profit forecasts twice in the past three months amid new product delays. On top of all that, Nokia shares have lost half their value since April alone.
I keep expecting Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo to get dumped, James Kelleher, an analyst at Argus Research Corp., told BusinessWeek on Friday. Instead theyre changing everyone under him. Kelleher was referring to a management reshuffle done this past spring.
Hakim Kriout, a portfolio manager at Grigsby & Associates who owns Nokia stock, said hed like to see someone in charge who knows how to turn around companies Someone with an understanding of what it takes to bring a company back from the brink not that Nokia is on the brink and sharpen things up a bit, Kriout told BusinessWeek.
Vlad Cara at Pictet Asset Management Ltd. agreed.
For me, the board needs to act yesterday, Cara told BusinessWeek.
The harsh criticism comes a day after the tech world learned Nokia passed on trying to buy struggling smartphone maker Palm earlier this year; Palm sold to smartphone-newcomer HP for $1.2 billion. The webOS system would have helped improve Nokias strategy and brand big-time since, for one, Nokias own OS, Symbian, is considered outdated. webOS, however, is viewed as top-notch. Palms global channel reach also would have been a huge boon for Nokia, as would its presence in the United States, a market Nokia is having trouble entering. But the Finland-based company apparently didnt see matters that way and didnt even bid for Palm, an anonymous source told BusinssInsider.
Those factors combined are making tech industry observers wonder how long before Kallasuvuo is kicked out of his corner office at Nokia.