Nokia is finally searching for a new CEO after years of mediocrity in the fast-growing smartphone industry. (Nokia is still the leader by marketshare, but in terms of mindshare, it’s way below Apple, Google Android, HTC, etc., especially outside of Europe.)
So who should be the next CEO of Nokia, replacing Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo? Remember that Nokia’s biggest problems right now are innovation, technology, engineering, design, and strategy — not so much sales or distribution. Nokia needs a dreamer, not a bean counter.
In a note this morning, RBC analyst Mark Sue floated some ideas:
- Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility
- Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless
- Mary Dillon, CEO of US Cellular
- A division head from HP or possibly Google
- Andy Rubin, head of Android at Google (could make Nokia into a huge Android customer)
- Peter Skarzynski, former head of sales and marketing for Samsung’s U.S. mobile phone business
- Don Morrison, COO of RIM
- Miles Flint, former president of Sony Ericsson, current chairman of Skype
- Todd Bradley, head of HP’s personal systems group
- Ron Garriques, president of communication solutions for Dell, former head of Motorola’s mobile devices division
- Bill Morrow, CEO of Clearwire
- Mary McDowell, EVP of mobile phones for Nokia
- Mike Zafirovski, former CEO of Nortel, former no. 2 at Motorola
- Robbie Bach, who led entertainment and devices for Microsoft
This list mostly assumes that Nokia — a distinctly European company based in Finland — wants a North American to be its next boss. And indeed, Nokia has already met with two U.S.-based tech executives, the WSJ reports, including one who turned down Nokia’s advances because he/she didn’t want to move to Finland.
Bringing in a U.S.-based exec could help the company get re-established here and get a presence built in Silicon Valley, where a lot of the innovation in smartphones is coming from.
But Nokia’s board may ultimately have other ideas, such as someone from Europe. Ericsson, Telefonica, T-Mobile, and Vodafone might have execs worth stealing.
Any more names? Add them to comments and we’ll add the good ones to our list.