Current CEO: Stephen Elop
Although Nokia spent the better part of the 20th century being known for churning out tires and other rubber products, its launch of its first portable phone in 1992 was a watershed event for the firm, allowing it to capture much market share and go on to spend the next two decades as the dominant player in the cell phone manufacturing market.
After a series of setbacks over the past few years involving building a smartphone using its own Symbian operating system, other vendors such as Google and Apple were able to pass Nokia in smartphone market share.
In late 2009, Nokia announced an upper management change, bringing in CEO Stephen Elop from Microsoft to right the ship and push it forward with the same momentum it had moved with previously. As Microsoft and Nokia had been strong competitors for years, the hiring was followed by more disbelief as Elop soon determined that Nokia would transition its phone software to the Microsoft operating system.
Investors applauded, and the company has since trod a delicate path for a giant; retaining a major new release of the Symbian operating system while integrating its other hardware with Microsoft Windows Mobile.
Never afraid of the low end of the market, Nokia has also continued its onslaught on Chinese and Indian cell phone manufacturers that cater to the low end of the market within those countries.
Successful in taking market share away by offering phone features that other low-end phones don''t provide, such as dual sim card slots, Nokia currently looks to be strengthening at the bottom end of the market while treading water with smartphones until its fully revamped lineup has been released.
In the interim, the company has forged ahead with its consolidation plans, centering development of regular phones in four different locations around the globe, while continuing its smartphone research in three locations globally. Given employee concern regarding a perceived disconnect when there were more sites and centers, it is easy to buy into the company’s rationalization that a smaller number of sites will spawn more creativity and dialogue.
Long known as one of the most progressive companies in the world to work for, Nokia culture encourages employees to participate in both sports and their communities. Nokia benefits for those working at Nokia often include childcare, exercise facility usage, and global cell phone privileges. For those that embark upon Nokia careers, they will find that its operations around the world are consistent in that despite its Finnish headquarters, the language that everyone must speak during the workday for all business is English.