Nokia handset maker HMD loses its CEO

The company trying to resurrect the Nokia mobile phone brand – HMD Global – has announced its CEO is moving on for undisclosed reasons.

Nokia lifer Arto Nummela was the founding CEO of HMD when it was created a year ago, with the stated aim of bringing the Nokia brand back from the euthanasia imposed upon it by Microsoft’s disastrous acquisition. The thinking was to combine the Nokia brand with lean and mean East Asian manufacturing to beat the odds as a handset startup.

“Arto Nummela has played a key role in the creation of the HMD Global operation, building the team and launching our first products,” said Sam Chin, HMD Chairman. “On behalf of the whole Board, I thank Arto for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

There was talk of the departure being through mutual agreement, but also that Nummela is leaving HMD with immediate effect, so it’s hard to discern what the underlying reason is. It’s hard to see this as a positive development, however, even though seasoned veteran Florian Seiche remains.

HMD recently announced a partnership with Zeiss optics and launched a couple of feature phones this week, but other than that things have been pretty quiet since the puzzling excitement around the resurrection of the 3310 (pictured) at MWC back in February. We wondered from the start how far the Nokia brand could take HMD and maybe we’ve just found out.

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