Nokia's interim CTO gets permanent status

Nokia confirmed Henry Tirri in the role of CTO and said his predecessor Rich Green has now left to pursue other projects

Nokia's acting Chief Technology Officer Henry Tirri is to stay on in the role, after his predecessor Rich Green left the company on Thursday following three months leave to deal with a "personal matter."

Tirri was named acting CTO on June 9, and confirmed in the role Thursday. He will be responsible for setting Nokia's technology agenda and will be based in Sunnyvale, California, the company said.

Before becoming CTO, Tirri was head of Nokia Research Center, which works on technologies that can be turned into products within three to 10 years.

Green joined Nokia as CTO in May 2010, having previously worked at Sun Microsystems and other companies. Green initially reported to Anssi Vanjoki, then Nokia's number two, but Vanjoki left following the appointment of former Microsoft business division president Stephen Elop as CEO of Nokia last September.

Within months, Elop turned the company's smartphone strategy on its head. On Feb. 11 he announced Nokia's adoption of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system as a replacement for its own Symbian OS and for Meego, the Linux-based OS jointly developed with Intel.

Green had been a supporter of Meego, and in the days following the OS strategy change he continued to describe it as a potential Plan B should Nokia's adoption of Windows Phone not work out.

Tirri will now replace Green on the Nokia Leadership Team, formerly known as the executive board. Green had remained on the team during his leave of absence, having only joined it on Feb. 11, the day Elop announced the switch to Windows Phone. Elop thanked Green on Thursday for "the key role he played in assisting Nokia through a major transition."

Nokia has released a number of new Symbian phones since February, but so far none running Windows Phone. The company is widely expected to launch its first devices running the Microsoft OS next month at its Nokia World event in London.

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Peter Sayer

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