Tuesday, September 30, 2008


At the beginning of the year, to great fanfare Nokia installed its first American as a CTO in Palo Alto, and the first C-level exec to be located outside the mother ship in Finland. Now Bob Iannucci is gone, with all that the news reports will say is that the former DEC and Compaq executive resigned for “personal reasons.”

There have been some small warning signs for a while. He started a blog in June with two postings and never continued. Iannucci was a Nokia research executive since 2005, but a Google news search doesn’t show many press mentions after June.

The problem is, “personal reasons” is often a euphemism for “I made a mistake in taking this job and want out” or even “they’re forcing me out and all they gave me is this fig leaf.” So when people do actually resign for personal reasons, then people are unfairly suspicious because of all the other times that the phrase is used to intentionally mislead people.

I guess we’ll know better once we see who Iannucci’s successor is and where he (or she) is working. If he’s replaced by a Finn located in Espoo, then that suggests that having an overseas CTO was a doomed experiment by the Finnish cellphone giant. In that case, one could presume that the American was an alien body rejected by an otherwise highly Finland-centric culture and organizational structure.

No comments: