First the rumour mill hinted that Microsoft was about to buy out the mobile phone section of its new partner and then there were the rather unlikely takeover rumours by Samsung. In reaction to these stories, at the Open Mobile Summit in London, Stephen Elop has firmly denied the possibility of a takeover: “All those rumors are baseless.” While he was speaking however, further disruption for the company emerged when Nokia confirmed that its chief technology officer (CTO) had taken a leave of absence. A statement from Nokia says that Rich Green has left the company to resolve a "personal matter" but has given no date for his return. Green was known to champion the MeeGo operating system and will have been understandably disappointed at Nokia’s ditching of the OS for Windows Phone earlier this year.
A Finnish newspaper has quoted sources inside Nokia claiming that it was indeed Green’s disillusion at the MeeGo platform being dumped for his leave of absence. Nokia stated that Green’s departure will have "no impact on our product strategy or our expected product launch timelines." Green has been in the position since 2010 after he moved from Sun Microsystems where he was involved in the transfer of Java code onto mobile phones. Henry Tirri, currently head of Nokia's research labs, will take over the post of technology boss according to the company. Nokia is struggling in the smart phone market, and only last week we saw its shares plummet by 15 percent after Nokia announced it would be posting zero profit this quarter.
Elop is still fighting to keep Nokia’s head above water and the new Nokia Windows Phone can’t come quickly enough. The loss of Green will be another morale blow to the company at a time when it can least afford it.