The Business Times

Network man

Rajeev Suri, Nokia's CEO, is on a mission to steer the iconic company back to its former glory.

Published Fri, Feb 8, 2019 · 09:50 PM
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IN JUNE 2007 this writer interviewed then Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, on the completion of his first year as CEO. Nokia was at that time one of the world's top five brands, commanded a nearly 50 per cent share of the global mobile phone market, and was moving into new services such as music on demand, maps and a host of others. In the mobile telephony space Nokia was the top dog and so what its CEO said was news.

However, technology is a great leveller. Around about the same time as the The Business Times interview with Mr Kallasvuo, at an Apple event in the US, the late Steve Jobs used his famous "One more thing..." pitch to take out from his back pocket the first version of the iPhone.

The rest, as they say, is history. The new phone took the world by storm and Google came out with its rival operating system Android which it gave away for free to competing mobile phone companies such as HTC and Samsung. While the industry moved in the direction of multi-touch enabled devices and apps, Nokia virtually sat on the sidelines. Consequently, the Finnish company was quickly dethroned from its pole position in the mobile telephony business and by 2010, just three years later, Nokia's share of the global mobile phone market fell to the low single digits. Its brand value disappeared.

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