Nokia Reportedly Searching For New Chief Exec

Mobile phone giant Nokia is looking for a new chief executive to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Finland-based company's board of directors could make a decision as soon as month's end, according to an unnamed person quoted in the story. IBM has interviewed at least two U.S.-based executives for the position, the Journal said.

Nokia, while still a major manufacturer of mobile phones, hasn't yet caught up to the smartphone superstars, chiefly the Apple iPhone and Google Android devices from manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung.

Nokia has been changing course, though. After years developing the Symbian smartphone operating system, Nokia is moving its flagship smartphone line to the MeeGo version of Linux that it is co-developing with Intel. Nokia is continuing to invest in Symbian, an open-source project, and is trying to make it easier for Symbian developers to build Web-style applications that run on a variety of smartphones.

Attracting programmers is key in the smartphone era, in which much of the appeal of a new mobile phone is the array of thousands of applications that can be downloaded to extend the basic ability of the phone, add productivity tools, and provide a broad range of sophisticated games.

"We do not comment on market rumor or speculation," Nokia said of the report.

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