My schedule, together with the life obligations of other team members, was very tough for the past few days as you might have noticed. It seems that big stuff is happening when we are not active :). Florian Seiche, the CEO of HMD Global or the main head behind the Nokia Mobile project, has left the business. Florian gave his statement on LinkedIn earlier, but HMD reached us with their internal statement saying:
“Florian Seiche, CEO for HMD Global, has left the HMD business to pursue other opportunities. We would like to thank him for all he has done for HMD and wish him the best for the future.”
This is what Florian had to say about his adventure with HMD, which started 6 years ago. He left a short notice on his LinkedIn account.
His most significant achievement is bringing Nokia brand back to the global market, and reaching good sales numbers in selected markets like the UK, USA and Africa. I would also mention that the recent launches were also a nice change of direction although many of us expected more from HMD Global. The biggest question is whether the exit strategy of Florian Seiche is a good thing or a bad thing. Many die-hard Nokia fans will open up a bottle of their favourite drink, and maybe ritually burn Nokia G21, but some might think that the latest direction of midrange phones is a good strategic manoeuvre to save the Nokia brand from disappearing from the market.
I must say that I liked their strategy for the first two years, and having met the team in Vienna back in 2018, I thought that we are going to have a nice Nokia story. I had a nice little talk with him and he was super pleasant. However, that doesn’t make him a great CEO. From 2018 onwards, I wanted to see the change and maybe this is needed. A fresh view of a well-proven manager in the smartphone industry is needed. I do not blame Florian for all the phones Nokia Mobile made, the formula for success is more complex than we think, but he has responsibilities and this is him taking the right step.
Now, we need to see what is going to happen in the future. Nokia Mobile has four years more to capitalize on the Nokia brand and prolong the license or close the shop. I like seeing Nokia out there even though the strength of the brand isn’t the same. Only ten years ago we were all in love with the brand that ruled the smartphone industry and now we like its remnants. However, we all can help it become better, which is the reason you all are gathered here.
We wish all the best to Florian in his future endeavours. Hopefully, HMD Global will have the funds to try to turn the page around one more time. Now we need a new skipper, and hopefully we’ll find out the name soon.