Nokia’s mobile phone boss quits after just 6 months

Nokia’s executive vice president at the helm of the company’s Mobile Phones unit is resigning from the position, after only 6 months of holding the job.

Richard A. Simonson, who has been with Nokia for nearly 10 years and was previously the company’s CFO, announced today that he was stepping down to spend more time with his wife and children. He cited the large amount of travel as burdensome on his family.

However, the timing of the decision leaves some questions. This comes as Nokia is in the middle of a larger corporate restructuring, and not long after the end-of-fiscal-year shareholder meeting.

“Usually, you would expect a company to make this kind of a move before its shareholder meeting and use the meeting to put it in context,” said mobile industry consultant John Strand in a New York Times story. “I also find it hard to believe that one wouldn’t have anticipated the travel involved in such a job before taking it.”

Nokia remains the leader in mobile phone market share on a global scale, and in some markets it was an unshakable stronghold. However, it has lost a lot of relevance in the US thanks to the explosion of the iPhone, Android, and other growing smartphone makers like HTC.

As such, it is working strongly to redevelop its brand. It has made some strides with its own platform and an App Store, called Ovi. But it’s just not making headlines these days.

Still, Nokia holds a 40% command on the global cell phone market. It will be some time before it really needs to worry.