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Nokia’s interim CEO talks about the company’s next 150 years

Though its mobile phone division has been acquired by Microsoft, Nokia’s CEO is looking forward to see what the next century might hold.


As Nokia celebrates its 150th anniversary as a very different company than what it was on its first or 149th, its interim CEO says his company’s employees are set to “surprise the world with our innovation.”

Without a mobile phone division Nokia is left with three components: a telecommunications network hardware division called Nokia Solutions Networks, a mapping division called Nokia HERE, and a R&D arm called Advanced Technologies.

Speaking to Nokia’s blog Nokia Conversations, interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa says Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s handset division is “the beginning of the next 150 years of Nokia’s story.”

“Nokia will look very different without the mobile devices and services business. But it will be a strong company, with healthy finances and three strong businesses – NSN, HERE, and Advanced Technologies – each a leader in technology and innovation,” he said.

Siilasmaa highlighted one of Nokia’s key strengths going forward — its intellectual property portfolio. It has been valued at approximately $6 billion and is said to contain 30,000 utility patents and 8,500 design patents. As part of the mobile phone division acquisition deal with Microsoft, Nokia agreed to let the company access its library for $2.17 billion.

Nokia’s patent deal with Microsoft is non-exclusive, and there is some concern that it’s patent library might become fodder for it to become a patent troll, as the Washington Post’s Brian Fung points out. Nokia launched suits against HTC in 2012 in the United States and Europe and since it no longer has any mobile phone products that it can be sued for in return, it makes it the perfect candidate for a patent troll.

Siilasmaa says that one of his next steps will be to begin the process of monetizing Nokia’s patent portfolio.

“We’ve already established a successful patent and technology licensing operation, which we will expand to continue to drive revenue and profit for Nokia through the new Advanced Technologies business,” he said.

While many may have mourned the loss of Nokia’s once stoic mobile phone division, Siilasmaa finished his interview with Nokia Conversations with a promise that he will drive the company forward into profitability with innovation.

“I have been amazed and deeply moved by the feedback from many of our employees. They are set to start the work immediately, surprise the world with our innovation and remind people what Nokia truly stands for,” he said.

“I believe this is the beginning of the next 150 years of Nokia’s story.”

Source: Nokia Conversations

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