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Nokia’s Sales Head Colin Giles to Quit

It’s not about men; it’s about method – that mobile maker Nokia has failed to follow during the past couple of years. As it couldn’t change with the changing times in the mobile market, its troubles have been increasing.

Amid these turbulent times, Nokia announced today, April 19, that Colin Giles, executive vice president of sales and a member of the Nokia Leadership Team, will step down from his position and the Nokia Leadership Team effective June 30, 2012.

Officially declared reason: “After many years of travel, Giles has decided to leave the company on to be closer to his family.”

Nokia has been facing myriad challenges in the market. During the first quarter 2012, multiple factors negatively affected Nokia’s Devices & Services business to a greater extent than previously expected, Nokia said a week ago. (Read: Nokia’s Troubles Continue as Q1 Results Disappoint)

Now Giles’s ouster is unlikely to bring back any lost luck for Nokia. Rather, the company needs to rethink about its strategies that are not supposed to be around devices. The traditional high-volume markets like India and China, where Nokia used to have its stranglehold, are already flooded with cheap mobiles from local vendors. Obviously, Nokia’s sales will fall.

So, now Nokia needs to think afresh and make a long-term plan that can include mobile content offerings among other services for the consumers. This change of strategy can help it come back on the track.

With Giles departure, Nokia will restructure the sales organization by reducing a layer of sales management to ensure greater customer focus and providing senior leaders greater visibility into market dynamics.

Effective immediately, Nokia’s four regional senior vice presidents and the lead of sales operations will report directly to Niklas Savander, executive vice president of markets.

The regional senior vice presidents include Chris Weber for the Americas; Shiv Shivakumar for India, Middle East and Africa; Olivier Puech for Asia Pacific and Victor Saeijs for Europe and Eurasia.

“Our structure is focused on ensuring that the sales organization is aligned with local customer requirements, market-by-market competitive issues and country-specific sales and marketing tactics,” said Savander. “As a result of reducing layers, we can increase the speed at which we execute sales activities and improve the collaboration between our business groups and our team on the ground.”

Giles (pictured above) joined Nokia in 1992 and has served in a number of marketing and sales roles across the company. Giles was instrumental in building Nokia’s presence in Asia and China and expanded Nokia’s sales and marketing efforts in many regions around the world.

Most recently he led the global sales organization during Nokia’s transition. Colin will stay with Nokia until June 30, 2012, to help establish the new structure.

“Colin’s leadership has been very valuable as we shifted Nokia’s strategy and aligned the sales organization around our new product families, Lumia and Asha,” said Stephen Elop, president and CEO. “We appreciate the commitment that Colin has demonstrated to Nokia over the years, and we wish him much success as he takes the next step in his career.”

Nokia needs to decide if Colin Giles is going to take “next step in his career” or going “closer to his family.” But will his stepping out result in any turnaround for Nokia? Let’s see. Keep watching.

Photo courtesy: Nokia

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