A month has passed since Florian Seiche, a charming CEO of HMD Global, left his position. Well, his LinkedIn biography still shows he is a CEO but Florian has left a warm goodbye message on the same social network. Now the question that arises from the situation is who will take the helm of HMD Global, a company that carries the Nokia brand in the smartphone market. Many hoped for a swift reaction from a board, which is kind of usual in the business world.
However, till today we haven’t got a single clue which person could succeed Florian. We got to be aware that the same company still haven’t found a Chief Product Officer, and Juho has left the startup in April 2021. One would argue that the smartphone business has changed and that companies like HMD Global don’t need a proper CPO when many other heads of departments and factors are now shaping devices. Also, you can find a finished product and just adjust it to your liking. And to do that, you don’t need a CPO.
Anyways, I checked if there were any changes in the board and leadership team structure on HMD’s website, and I haven’t found anything new. Then I went to check LinkedIn profiles following a tip (I can’t find who tipped and where, my apologies for that), and saw that Jean-Francois Baril now has an HMD Global CEO title next to several others. I reached HMD and still haven’t gotten a reply about whether this change is permanent or just a temporary one. It seems to me that Baril is bridging the missing position till the company finds a suitable figure for the job.
On the other hand, Jean-Francois Baril is a person with a lot of experience in the smartphone business. He is the creator of one of the best Supply Chain programs ever created, and he achieved that while being a CPO of Nokia. Baril is also behind a private equity fund managed by Smart Connect that invested significantly in HMD Global, so him wanting to take the rudder is logical. However, the role of CEO could be a more dynamic title than he likes or wants, so it is reasonable to think that we can expect a new CEO quite soon since Baril doesn’t expose himself that much to the public or press.
I’ll edit the post with a reply from HMD Global when it comes. Maybe, I’m wrong and Baril is to stay in the CEO position.
HMD Global replied to our questions regarding the new CEO role so this is what they had to say: “Our chairman Jean-Francois Baril is our co-founder, chairman and CEO working closely with our experienced leadership team. We are always looking for new talent to join the HMD family and will update you as these roles are filled.”