Stephen Elop’s selection as the new Nokia CEO in 2010 – and long-time smartphone chief Anssi Vanjoki’s departure from the company – may have been the result of a a power play by American investors, according to a new leak. Finnish paper Kauppalehti claims that Nokia board chaiman Jorma Ollila had intended to promote Vanjoki to the CEO role, but just weeks before was told by US investors that he had to pick a different candidate.
Update: Nokia comment after the cut
Ollila shortly after announced his intentions to step down from the board in 2012, giving no reason for the decision but, if this new information is correct, in a move that looks likely to be a protest against the investor pressure. Vanjoki has said that “the time has come to seek new opportunities” and is expected to leave Nokia at the end of this quarter.
Update: We’ve just spoken to Nokia’s Mark Squires, and the company completely denies the Finnish report:
“The story is totally unfounded speculation. There were three candidates for Nokia CEO position in the final selection and Stephen was chosen on merit without any external interference. We are very disappointed that this story was published just prior to the financial results”