Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bob Iannucci sacked for trying to move Nokia R&D out of Finland

This just out from the media in Finland...

Sacked Bob Iannucci attempted to move Nokia R&D out of Finland

The former Chief Technical Officer and Head of the Nokia Research Center Bob Iannucci, whose departure from the mobile phone manufacturer was announced at the end of September, apparently planned to move the research & development facility away from Finland.

The company's senior management did not warm to the idea, and this was allegedly part of the reason for his downfall within Nokia.

The news is based on information collected by Helsingin Sanomat from a number of independent sources.

Iannucci was appointed to the CTO position only at the beginning of this year, but had led the Research Center since 2005.

Around 450 people work at the Research Center in Finland. Though the facility is located in the Ruoholahti district of Helsinki, Iannucci based himself in Palo Alto in California.

Late in September it was announced that Iannucci would be leaving the company for personal reasons, effective immediately.

Formally he is to remain as an adviser to Nokia on "key technology issues", but in practice it appears he has been sacked or forced to tender his resignation.

Iannucci's management methods reportedly caused much consternation and bad blood among Nokia staffers.

Many of his close colleagues found it impossible to get on with him. There have been claims that he was unable to listen to the opinions of others, and it was alleged he made precipitate decisions that many felt were damaging to Nokia's R&D activities.

The word was passed up the chain to Nokia's top management. Relations with the Executive Board remained sound at least in the early stages, as Iannucci was said to be a good performer and it has always been acknowledged that he has a very profound understanding of mobile phone technology.

Under his leadership, R&D activity was expanded vigorously in California while units elsewhere were shut down.

The overall staff complement in research and development was cut by half.

The end-product was that Palo Alto became the second-largest Nokia research facility, with around 80 employees.

The Nokia Research Center is currently being headed on an interim basis by Henry Tirri, the former Head of NRC Systems Research.

A new CTO for Nokia has yet to be appointed.

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