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Top-Rung Turnover at Nokia

There is some noise coming out of Nokia today, as the mobile communications company announced a shift in its top-level management.

The resignation of President Pekka Ala-Pietila has prompted the Nokia board of directors to tap Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as the new president and COO, effective Oct. 1, 2005.

In addition, Kallasvuo, 52, will officially take the CEO spot next June, replacing Jorma Ollila who will continue in his role as chairman and CEO of the Finnish mobile phone giant until that time.

Kallasvuo joined Nokia in 1980 and currently heads the mobile phones business group as its executive vice president and general manager. Prior to his current post, he served in various other capacities, including CFO. Before Nokia, Kallasvuo worked at the Union Bank of Finland.

"The Nokia Board has had in place a succession process in anticipation of Jorma Ollila's retirement with the objective of maintaining vitality, adapting to a rapidly evolving industry, and ensuring continuity," Paul Collins, vice chairman of the board, said in a statement.

"The board is convinced that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, with his strong industry credentials and over 20 years of experience at Nokia, will provide the required leadership for the company in the future," Collins said.

Keeping the management shift at home will help Nokia try to maintain some momentum in the mobile phone space, with competitors Motorola and Samsung vying for business.

The board of directors will propose at the next annual general meeting to have Ollila, 54, continue as non-executive chairman after June 1, according to the company.

"This will provide for an orderly transition while giving the Company access to his understanding of our business, our industry and its challenges and opportunities," Collins said.