Ramzi Haidamus is stepping down as the president of Nokia Technologies' patent and consumer electronics development division. This news follows the story that Nokia have recently arranged a second patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that has reassured investors and follows another deal with HMD Global, which could mean the Nokia brand will be applied to smartphones in the coming months. Ramzi explained that: "Given (the unit's) progress, now is the right time for me to explore new opportunities to pursue my passion for building and transforming businesses." In other words, after joining Nokia in 2014 he must feel that he has accomplished what he set out to do. Prior to joining Nokia, Ramzi spent twelve years working for Dolby Laboratories and is based in Silicon Valley, where he remained after joining Nokia. What is interesting is that it is Ramzi's division that is responsible for bringing new Nokia branded smartphones to the market: does Ramzi's decision mean that the company has already developed or licensed new handsets and is waiting until the right time before it starts selling them? Or it may be that Ramzi does not feel he is able to add significant value to this part of the business and is making way for another.
Ramzi's arrangement of the Samsung Electronics deal is significant because this is the first patent licensing deal that Nokia had arranged since selling the handset business to Microsoft two years ago. Nokia has existing patent arrangements with other mobile technology companies including Apple, Huawei and Qualcomm, which do not need to be renegotiated for a number of years yet. Currently, Nokia Technologies main asset is their patent portfolio: in revenue terms, patent sales contributed just 2% to Nokia in the last quarter but 14% of sales. This is because the patent licensing division operates on a much higher profit margin compared with the core networking business, which itself is still in the process of absorbing Alcatel-Lucent.
Nokia Technologies' Chief Executive, Rajeev Suri, said: "I am confident that with its strong foundation, Nokia Technologies will continue its progress without missing a beat." The business has already started the search for a replacement and that when Ramzi departs, the role will temporarily be held by Brad Rodrigues, recruited earlier this year to lead the strategy and business development division. Meanwhile, we wish Ramzi all the best for his future endeavors.