Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's smartphone champion, resigns one day before Nokia World

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Imagine if Jonathan Ive, the designer of the Mac and the iPhone, walked out of Apple one day before its world developer’s conference? Well that’s the kind of impact of the resignation today of Anssi Vanjoki, who has announced his departure one day before Nokia World, the company’s major annual event. Vanjoki was widely seen as being the potential ‘Steve Jobs” of Nokia – a product obsessive who could get things done. There’s no sign he’s left for another job and the short press release contains no words of thanks from colleagues. Wow.

Vanjoki only recently (as in, July) became the company’s Mobile Solutions leader – the one guy that was poised to knock heads together and turn Nokia back into a major smartphone player against the iPhone and Android. But no more.

In a press statement, Nokia said he has given a six months notice period and he will continue in his current tasks for the time being.

Vanjoki said: “I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life. At the same time, I am one hundred per cent committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day. I am also really looking forward to this year’s Nokia World and sharing news about exciting new devices and solutions.”

However, these are hollow words.

Was he reaching for the CEO gig and failed to get it? Leaving just before this huge event could be his way of getting back at Nokia? Just speculating…

Despite the appointment of a new CEO, Nokia is now sailing adrift with no major product lead for its next assault on the smartphone market.

  • Flavio

    What the F is Nokia doing?
    They have a huge fire (maybe the greyheads still don’t realize it) and piss-off the lead fireman ?

    • Sridhar

      Nokia has given up on competiton…wht the F??


      • morn

        Speaking of Nokia World, the latest superphone Nokia is bragging about is the Nokia E7 — said to be even better than their N8 phone.

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    • Mark A

      He wanted the CEO job and didn’t get it. Also it woud be a million times worse if he had gone on stage, outlined the strategy and then resigned.

      The timing isn’t great but it could have been worse. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to see that, Mike.

      • GQB

        I’ve seen desperate rationalizations before, but that takes the cake.

    • Blah Blah Blacksheep

      Ani was the Mobile Man of the last decade. He has been rendered obsolete a while back and has played a major role in obsessing about turning Nok into a services company.

      Ultimately, when we look at Apple its still a hardware company with kick ass integrated software. Its simple, but for old geezers it takes time….

      Good ridden!

  • vikash

    Anssi Vanjoki have great impact on Mobile industry and surelly he will be hand picked by giant with huge salary but the way he is leaving Nokia is not what i ever thought of.


  • futogep

    This is succesfully

  • legal service

    I believe in Nokia more than in iPhone. More interesting gear comes out from Finland’ heads.

    • GQB

      Um, I don’t think that’s the orifice that Nokia’s products have been coming out of lately.

  • Russel Kealoha

    maybe he’s going to facebook? hehe. Zuck wants a facebook phone.

  • Rayfil Wong

    Nokia all the moments needs to keep all the talent pool in tact. Currently, the rubber meets the road.

    They need to start adopting Android into their platform.

    Living in Hong Kong, the land of mobile fertility, I noticed that just last summer, Nokia has a strong presence and now, the buzz is all about getting an Iphone 4.

    The tech industry is a beautiful landscape for many reasons, perhaps a David vs. Goliath stories.

    Leaders are never safe on top (Nokia) and competitors may not be as far as you think.

    Rayfil Wong

    • A.T.

      go Android yourself – it is only Google who needs itself on any possible phone, and everybody else is just stupid enough to repeat marketing motto’s

    • Charles F Moreira

      Perhaps it may be so that iPhone 4 is the talk of Hong Kong now but will it still be so in one or two years time.

      Like at one time in the 1970s, baggy pants were in in the UK but the pendulum soon swung back to flared bottoms and now its just snug fitting straights.

      Anyway, I don’t get even one cent by getting caught up in these phone OS wars, or for that matter LTE vs WiMAX, so why the hell bother.

      Any of these companies gonna pay me for rooting for them?

      I’ll just use the phone which serves me best in what I want to do with it.

      • Tycho

        “Perhaps it may be so that iPhone 4 is the talk of Hong Kong now but will it still be so in one or two years time?”

        Umm.. No the talk then will clearly be iPhone 5 or 6!

  • Kent Beatty

    The lesson here is to always be training people for their next promotion. No-one should be irreplaceable. The timing of this announcement speaks loudly.

  • Vince

    His name is Jonathan Ive. Not Ives.

  • Elliot

    It seems obvious to me that this dude didn’t leave Nokia the day before the expo, as the author of this article suggests. Rather, it seems obvious that Nokia decided to make this announcement the day before the expo. The psychology is obvious: By announcing it the day before the expo, Nokia hopes to bluff everyone into thinking that this isn’t as big a deal as they think it is, meanwhile, the expo it’s self can serve as a distraction, competing with this news, thereby minimizing the amount of traction that this news would otherwise gain.

    It’s pretty pathetic that these corporations need a ‘Steve Jobs’ just so they can make, as Apple makes, semi-decent products that aren’t completely replete with idiocy. Hell, if Steve Jobs himself moved on over to most of these corporations, within a few months he’d be either fired and/or he’d have quit in frustration. It can’t be emphasized enough: these corporations are dumb.

    • Kristoffer Lawson

      Elliot, I doubt that was the strategy. Anssi leaving will cloud the whole event and they’ll have to continuously fight off questions about that. According to Finnish sources, Kallasvuo himself did not know he was going to be replaced by Elop, and that the dealings were done by the board in secret. So I’m guessing Vanjoki was also not aware of the planned change at the top, and this resignation is a reflection of that.

  • wetpluto

    Wasn’t Apple doing just well when Steve Jobs was out of Apple for 10 years ?

    • Oflife

      Uh, no! Are you kidding? Apple had lacklustre products, failed to launch a credible hand held (Newton was a disaster that if it wasn’t for the Palm Pilot, discredited the PDA market for years) and were on the verge of meltdown. Steve Jobs returned and saved the company with one product: The iMac. The rest is (i)history. Design sells. Period.

    • GQB

      The bean counters who ran Apple after Jobs left literally brought the company with 90 days of bankruptcy.
      Incidentally, these were the same geniuses who tried licensing Mac OS to 3rd parties (for those who still think that’s an approach Apple should return to.)

  • NokiaFail

    He wrote that 2 months ago. I think he meant “The Flight Back” :)

  • Graham Anderson

    If this chap is the ‘Product Obsessive’ ‘Steve Jobs’ of Nokia, isn’t he the problem? Or should we blame the previous guy for the long line of botched designs coming out of Nokia?

  • “Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s smartphone champion, resigns one day before Nokia World” and related posts | ToGadget , The Guide to Gadgets

    […] TechCrunch EuropeImagine if Jonathon Ives, the designer of the Mac and the iPhone, walked out of Apple one day before its world developer's conference?Nokia Executive VP Anssi Vanjoki resigns – Tech TickerVP and GM of Mobile Solutions, Anssi Vanjoki has resigned from Nokia – ZOMGitsCjAnssi Vanjoki resigns from Nokia – Mobile News OnlineSee all 9 blogs. Technology – Google Blog Search […]

  • at

    Anssi was surely no Steve Jobs. About time Nokia gets rid of their technology obsessive “pocketable mobile computers man”. Good riddance.

  • FrankR

    Why does Nokia cling to Symbian? Their hardware rocks, but consumers just aren’t thrilled with their tired old OS.

    Throw down a few Android phones and you could get your mojo (and maybe stock price) back!

    • Mark A

      I think it’s because Symbian has over 40% of the smartphone market, Frank, with that share increasigng over the last four quarters. I’d say that the customers are Ok with it.

      • FrankR

        You’re correct Mark, they have 40% today. But if you look back a few years, they had most all of the market. In three years they will be under 30% it seems.

        For confirmation, I went to the local mall yesterday. Apple store and stores with displays full of Android are doing well, Nokia store was empty.

        Those numbers don’t point to a bright future for Symbian.

      • GQB

        Oh for God’s sake, stop with the nonsense that Nokia is doing fine because it sells the most phones.
        They dominate in bottom-dwelling, low-margin feature phones.
        Its % of market revenue that matters, and Nokia has tanked in that.
        They’ve won the race to the bottom.

      • DrunkenMonk

        You need to check your stats. They *DO* sell the highest number of smartphones still. The margins are less. So stop spouting nonsense. They are not dead yet!! And just because Gartner has predicted that Android volumes will close the gap means JACK!! Gartner has made a billion predictions and idiots likes you are waiting for them to happen. So get back in the line!!

        Not a NOK fan. But you need to get facts right. And stop being a fanboi!!

  • What should Nokia announce at Nokia World tomorrow?

    […] it’s announced that Anssi Vanjoki, penned by some as the ‘Steve Jobs of Nokia’, has handed in his resignation – great timing, eh? – despite being charged with heading up the company’s Mobile […]

  • Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s smartphone champion, resigns one day before Nokia World | Apple Watch

    […] left for another job and the short press release contains no words of thanks from colleagues. Wow. full story Categories: Tech Tags: Nokia Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment […]

  • Sutha Kamal

    Given how badly Nokia has executed in the smartphone segment, it could just be that Elop (the new CEO) wants a fresh start at Nokia. Nokia’s biggest challenge has been Nokia: keeping a guy who’s been ineffective in getting Nokia to change strategy and execute well doesn’t sound like a bad, or surprising, decision.

    • Mike Butcher

      Hey Sutha, you should comment more – we need your smarts! ;-)

    • Ira

      I think calling Vanjoki “ineffective in getting Nokia to…execute well” is a little unfair. He’s only had the position since July. If this was caused by anything other than a personal reason for Vanjoki (which it doesn’t sound like is the case), Nokia appears strategically indecisive and confused. If Elop has a particular vision that Vanjoki doesn’t fit, that should be made clear prior to a move like this.

      • former Nokian

        It is obvious Anssi had eyes on the CEO post. Don’t think his resignation has anything to do with clash on visions from Steve Elop.

        Personally I don’t think he is visionary, he was in charge of phones for many years now, the first music phone was created under his management 9 years ago but was a huge failure, never made a sound.

        Nokia gets too content with the way they manage product portfolio, making upgrade or facelift to older version, all the evolution not revolution.

    • A.T.

      executed? you seem to be extremely remote from what had happened in Nokia in last 5-7 years.

  • McBeese

    The timing may be awkward, but why would we think this is a bad move? What can we point to in Nokia’s recent portfolio that this guy was responsible for that leads us to think his departure is a loss? I think Nokia NEEDS a major change of leadership at the top.

    • GQB

      Folks, just stick a fork in Nokia… they’re done.
      You don’t get a second chance in this market, and they’ve had their shot.
      By the time they get anything off the ground, the market will have been divided up between Android and iPhone, with Apple getting the choice $$$ cuts.

      • Ira

        You don’t get a second chance? Don’t tell that to Motorola. For that matter, don’t tell Apple either.

      • Palerma

        At least Motorola has chosen right OS.

  • jneill

    Hmm, well he predicted he would be pushed but not out the door – here’s his tweet from just 10 days ago…
    “it is great beeing pushed by the best people in the organization. We make grat progress!”
    9:40 AM Sep 3rd via Ovi

    Filed for posterity here:

  • formerly nokia

    Anssi Vanjoki was singularly responsible for keeping Nokia in the “Candy bar” phone body business when everyone else was making the popular flip open phones. That is one big reason that Nokia fell behind in popularity here in the US.

  • gink

    for some fun “science fiction” reading on what the future of nokia could have been:

  • Nico Amon

    For sure, Nokia should use Android if they want to survive. They are building their new os for what? Better the resources use for other purpose.

    When Nokia keep using symbian, they will keep lossing marketshare.

    Lets see

  • Brian S Hall

    Oh, Anssi, well you came and you gave without taking…Not.

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