HMD Global Chief Executive Officer Arto Nummela left the company following a mutual agreement with the firm’s Board of Directors, the Espoo, Finland-based phone maker announced on Wednesday. In a short press release on the matter sent to media outlets, HMD Global didn’t elaborate on the reasons behind Nummela’s sudden departure, though the firm implied that its commercial performance had nothing to do with the situation. The company’s Chairman Sam Chin said Nummela’s contributions to the firm proved to be of crucial importance for the startup that’s currently in the process of reintroducing Nokia phones to the world following the brand’s unsuccessful stint with Microsoft.
Like many other HMD Global employees, Nummela used to work at Nokia since the early Noughties, and his newly announced departure is effective immediately, HMD Global said, adding that its President Florian Seiche already assumed the role of an acting CEO. It’s currently unclear how long will Seiche’s dual role at the company last as the Finnish firm has yet to clarify whether it’s actively searching for a new top executive to permanently replace Nummela. The now-former CEO oversaw the launch of the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6, Nokia 3310 (2017), and a couple of other feature phones, signaling the return of the brand that was once a major player in the handset industry. All three smartphones released by the company so far are powered by Android and run what’s essentially the stock version of Google’s ubiquitous operating system, with Nummela previously claiming that the new Nokia devices are exclusively focused on providing a consistent user experience that’s free of clutter at affordable prices.
It remains to be seen whether that general product strategy changes with the new major management shift at HMD Global but even if it does, the transition is unlikely to have any immediate effects on the company’s products; the flagship Nokia device that’s been the subject of numerous rumors for several months now is widely expected to be unveiled in late July, indicating that its research and development (R&D) phase has long been completed and the product that consumers will presumably be able to purchase by late summer will still be part of Nummela’s vision for the Nokia brand.