MeeGo home, another Nokia VP quits

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The phrase jumping a sinking ship springs to mind, although that’s perhaps a little too simple for these muddy waters. But certainly something is up at Nokia as another VP quits, this time Ari Jaaksi, the guy in charge of MeeGo devices, who tells Finland’s Talous Sanomat that he resigned last week. This follows the exit of Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s smartphone champion.

Was Jaaksi made to walk the plank or did he go voluntarily, that’s a legitimate question in light of the recent change at the very top as new CEO Stephen Elop perhaps begins to assert his authority. We’ll probably never know, but it raises a more immediate question: Is Nokia still on track to ship its first MeeGo smartphone powered by the next generation mobile OS being developed in partnership with Intel, which is scheduled for the end of the year.

Nokia PR tells Engadget that this is indeed the case or at least that an announcement is planned before 2010 is out, although the gadget site notes that an “update on MeeGo” leaves plenty of wriggle room.

It’s not all bad news in the MeeGo camp, however, as the Finnish handset maker has quietly hired Palm’s Peter Skillman as the head of MeeGo User Experience and Services. He’s a veteran of the ex-PDA maker and certainly has a strong design background (listen to his thoughts here).

Nokia, of course, is long respected for its hardware output, but it’s the UI side where the company lags behind the likes of iPhone and indeed Palm’s WebOS. Perhaps this is the guy to help change that, although with the year’s end getting ever closer, the handset giant is certainly cutting it a bit fine.

  • Jon

    Peter Skillman, renowned ex-Palm Design Guru was hired for the MeeGo program at NOK already 3 weeks ago.

    Wouldn’t say he’s an “unskilled replacement”. On the contrary..!

    • matti

      Skillman isn’t replacement. His job description is for just Meego UI. Jaaksi was in charge of the whole Meego unit (OS+Hardware). Will be interesting to see who gets his jobs.

  • JC

    Seriously, what can Nokia do now to regain mindshare in the high end segment…? I hope they do, but I fear it’s going to be too little & too late. Makes me sad to see such an innovator (in the past) slowly die.

  • http://www.brianshall.com Brian S Hall

    I have doubts that we’ll *ever* see a single MeeGo device launched. They now have no leaders who could champion them — except a new guy completely outside the culture.

    If interested, I posted my thoughts here:

    http://brianshall.com/content/death-meego

    • http://craigsyverson.com Craig Syverson

      MeeGo landing Skillman was a coup for them. I know from first-hand experience he’s a great design leader, and he’s had the experience of Palm’s successes and mistakes. Perfect fit.

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  • WulfCry

    Yikes the familiar sound for internal rumble with two sides in Nokia. Reminds me of Apple Lisa versus Macintosh, something is up there turmoil hurricane. Must be hard for these guy landing MeeGo with an open user experience true to Nokia different as their contenders but just as easy today’s touch devices delivers. Scratch my chin for this dilemma 69 is a number that looks the same if you turn it similar coincidence something they need badly.

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  • Matt

    This article title… just fantastic.

    • Steve O'Hear

      :)

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