Struggling manufacturer Nokia is facing even more upheaval after its UK top man Mark Loughran announced his departure today.
The news comes just one week after Nokia announced a new global MD, Microsoft’s Stephen Elop, and Nokia solutions chief Anssi Vanjoki (understood to be the Steve Jobs of Nokia) said he would exit.
Loughran was never a man to stand out in the industry. Whether this was through personal choice or that of the company’s elusive PR isn’t clear. However, he was thought of as one who was a fierce and loyal advocate of Nokia.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood says: ‘He was a private MD and wasn’t as hungry after media as some of his rivals. He put all his efforts into the business and into the team.’
And Loughran’s positivity comes despite a very tough 18 months for the manufacturer in the face of tumbling profits and a lack of notable high-end phones.
But despite this, Loughran had significant success. He was proud of the 5800, which was a phenomenal handset for Nokia as well as one of the best selling phones of 2009.
Loughran was also responsible for cutting huge deals with retailers such as Tesco to range Nokia products.
As Wood says: ‘He was a strong company man, well respected and loyal to his team. He believed in Nokia, which is big thing to be doing when it is going through a tough time.’
And although Nokia head of retail Sami Lehtinen will step in to act in Loughran’s role, sources say that Nokia will quickly fill it and probably internally – the UK is one of Nokia’s biggest markets in Europe.
Nokia is working hard to get back where it was – it is still number one in the UK and will want to remain in that position. Whoever steps into Loughran’s shoes will need the determination, drive and will to succeed of their predecessor.
But perhaps Nokia needs to shout a little louder, or it could continue to tread water as its rivals push ahead.