Nokia has confirmed chairman Jorma Ollila plans to resign in 2012 in a bid to win back leadership in the mobile phone market.
Ollila's coming resignation opens the way for newly appointed CEO Stephen Elop to lead the company as he chooses.
Nokia didn't ascribe reasons to Ollila's planned departure in 2012. Ollila, 60, was CEO for 14 years until 2006 and has been chairman since 1999. Nokia sells 34 percent of the world's mobile phones, but has struggled against other smartphone makers and has seen a 70 percent decline in share price over the past three years. Nokia's troubles are partly due to competition from the iPhone and a variety of new Android phones and BlackBerry smartphones.
Some analysts have been skeptical that Elop, a Canadian who has worked for Microsoft, can reverse that poor showing.
The world's biggest mobile phone maker announced three new smartphones, the E7, C7 and C6, which join the previously announced N8, at its Nokia World conference held in London this week. All four, expected to ship by the end of the year, use the newest Symbian 3 OS, which runs faster and supports multiple homescreens, touch gestures on the touchscreen and multitasking.