Nokia VP of Product Marketing leaves amid speculation of disappointed investors

Ilari Nurmi showing off Nokia's Windows Phones

A lot can be said about last months revealing of the Nokia Lumia 920 (and 820). While the device’s design and hardware appear to be outstanding achievements for the Finnish company, the message and how it was delivered left a lot to be desired. In fact, Nokia’s stock famously dropped 16% on that day despite the impressive new devices with speculation pointing to lack of specific pricing, availability and carrier partners as the cause.

Since that time Nokia has recovered a bit, especially with a preliminary tests showing that the Lumia 920’s camera is a contender for the best mobile solution yet. But when times are tough and the message is fuddled, heads roll and that appears to be the case for Ilari Nurmi who was vice-president of product marketing for the company.

News came out today via Retuers that Nurmi has left company and what is not clear at this time is whether it was of his own accord or at the company’s insistence, as neither side would comment on the matter. That’s usually code for “we’re going our separate ways” and may reflect Nokia’s very aggressive approach lately to its personal.

There seems to be little tolerance for poorly executed plans regarding their smartphones—a wise and necessary strategy. Whether or not this was tied to the PureView camera scandal is not clear either, though it could very well be.

We briefly met with Nurmi in New York for the Lumia 920 launch and had quite a pleasant discussion with him about the company and their new technology. We wish him the best of luck and hope Nokia can in the future better execute product announcements and launches.

Source: Reuters; Thanks, KP, for the tip!  Image via AllThingsD

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Well, if he planned the announcement and fake camera video then good riddance. They need much better marketing. Get really stars in their commercials! I heard Jessica Alba likes their products. Get her in a thong taking a video on the beach with the L920.
  • Would you notice the appearance of a phone in a commercial like that? ;)
  • Then you'll forget the phone and would concentrate on the thong...
  • put the phone in the thong. no one will be able to take their eyes off of it
  • The thong would be the same color as the phone
  • This is honestly an incredibly great idea. No lies, email it to Ballmer or I will. Guys all over the world would go "holy shit that's a good camera!"
  • That would have to be one strong thong! The 920 is a substaintial device!!
  • Really? You're reading disrespect into this. You must be very paranoid or have dangerously low self esteem.
  • Probably for the camera scandal.. 
  • He used to be Director of CDMA Applications and Services for Nokia, so maybe he supposed to get along with CDMA carriers like Verizon and failed...
  • Wise decision. Damage has already been done though. Nokia can not afford shit like this in the situation they are in. They need to be spot on in every regard.
  • You mean like in their 'availability'?
  • +1000
  • I don't know who is/was responsible for below mistakes but they drive me nuts:
    1. They launched Lumia 900 on a Holiday!
    2. "Smartphone Beta Test is over" ads! 
    3.Fake Camera ads!
  • nicki minaj event at times square...
    I liked foo fighters at iphone 5 event.
  • Umm who is nicki minaj? Never herd of him/her.
  • It did nothing for the brand of the phone! She might be a big deal but it didn't work.
  • Is that a joke? Nicki Minaj is a big deal and well known in the Gen Y crowd.
  • Well no I'm Swedish and I've never heard that name before. None of my friends knows either.
  • i thought that was microsoft?
  • The damn phones should be in the hands of customers. Apple announces their phones and more than 5 million sold already. Microsoft is full of shit. The device should be in my damn hand and im sick of what's suppose to happen just drop the damn devices.
  • Well, it's not really comparable. Apple has one phone and is alone within its ecosystem. Windows phone (8) is 5 phones and 4 corporations looking out for themselves but are trying to work together. It's not comparable.
  • It's rather simple actually. Microsoft says here's your deadline, xx/xx/xxxx. Get your product out by then or lose your contract. Sorry. You announce your product to the world and then it goes on sale that day or within the week. Then people have their product within the month. Pretty simple concept.
  • Saying such a thing is rather simple shows you've probably never worked in a multi-vendor, multi-national, multi-year project before.  It is never simple, and usually takes about 25-30% longer than it should simply because of the competing interests, not to mention when a rather large and new product codebase is being birthed alongside it.
  • Yes it is comparable. Nokia only has 2 phones. Samsung only has 1. The OEM's are ready, its' not them holding it up it is MS who don't have the OS ready. So don't announce so early!!
  • The #1 reason the big launch announcement was a flop was lack of carrier, pricing, and delivery date info. Cameragate would have been largely smoothed over had those three pieces of information been available.
  • Or, just simply putting simulated image tag on the commercial.
  • Agreed!!! " Hey guys , we got a device that is going to blow away the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III in every way...but you have to be patient and maybe one day soon, you can by it" Yeah, not a good strategy and all their ads have been horrible, beta test and preview..only the carrier specific ads have been good and maybe that's why they went with the exclusive again...its nice that im on ATT but still, if they wanna truly sell these, they need em everywhere!!!
  • Just to clarify, "Product Marketing" indicates responsibility for gathering and prioritizing product specifications and creating a product roadmap. Creation of advertisement campaigns and marketing initiatives is generally the responsibility of a "sales and marketing" team. If he's being pushed out, its probably because he failed to prioritize thinness of the products and put out a midrange 820 product that seems like it is going to struggle to compete on price.
  • Wouldn't the job you described be called "VP of Product Development"? Product marketing is marketing a product to customer.
  • There aren't any hard-and-fast rules regarding these types of job descriptions, but generally product marketing writes the requirements document, and development is an engineering-focused position charged with implementing the features outlined in the requirements document. As evidence of the nature of this guys position at Nokia, here's an article from two weeks ago that describes him as being in charge of "smartphone strategy"
  • I want those headphone
  • Guys, this is gossip.
    We do not know what happened, and might not know.
    But what I can tell you from my experience with Nokia, is that he would not do anything on his own, neither would would anyone else in Nokia. It is all presented to a committee for approval.
    Maybe this is the strategy Nokia is using, to "tease", or to keep a share since Apple was launching before WP8 was ready.
    I would say, wait, and I have a feeling it will be a kick ass device. I actually think that even the Lumia 900 is better than iPhone 4s, but that's only me...
  • It's not gossip that a high level VP within Nokia has suddenly left the company. He's a young, bright man who's not retiring. Seeing as neither side would confirm give reasons for the departure, it is very fair speculation that it was for work-related performance. Had he announced he was leaving for another company, that would be different... Granted as to the specified reasons for his deapture...that is gossip. 
  • Here's an idea to the new Mkt VP, make the 920 available to all carriers. That'll get your sales up.
  • +infinity
  • +1000.
  • I agree the marketing push should have been better. When you announce a product you announce everything that has been discussed and finalized over the course of product development. How in the heck do you design a phone over some time and not have the OS finalize for public use at the unveiling, not have any pricing info or have any carrier/launch date is poor management. Also I agree, it should have been at least 2 carriers. 1 CDMA and 1 GSM at launch. Bad decisions leads to bad seperations.
  • Actions have consequences, at that a poorly executed performance when at that time Nokia and most importantly the Windows Phone OS should of gotten the excitement of the consumer. God rid of the person who took the grey Lumia Phone out of retail inventory.
  • Wish him all the best, but that's irrelevant I'm sure he'll have no problem finding an interesting, well paid job.
  • Who will be fired next? With only launching on the 2nd biggest carrier in the United States, it should be an alarm. Just look at the Lumia 900 sales. I can see it now, sales person doing the same thing. You want an iPhone when asking for the Lumia. Nokia should have tried the biggest carrier as well, instead of making the flagship phone exclusive on AT&T.
  • Isn't ATT..the biggest carrier with 104m followed by Verizon with 94m?
  • Have told seen the gs3 commercial? Attention getting, youthful, modern, fun. Makes anyone want to get one. Nokia either nothing, YouTube, or just plain boring.
  • No need for stars. Just put tons of ads on tv. Make look something like GS3 showing what Nokia and WP can do!
  • It is not looking good for Nokia. I was optimistic until now. Personnel changes at the top ain't good.
  • Can you elaborate a little more why changes at the top is no good?
  • Sometimes corporations tend to hire from within the organisation and simply some incompetent person lands the job. Or maybe more in Nokia's case, he probably was too accustomed to doing things the old way and was a failure because of that. Or all the experience gained as a product manager does not qualify you as competent in product marketing. Or who knows what happened...
  • aggressive approach lately to its personal.   Personnel?  
  • Personally I think Microsoft is also part of the blame for Nokia's 16% drop. Had Microsoft WP8 OS ready, Nokia could have negotiated with carriers. Thus come w/ delivery date, pricing etc.
    I hope Microsoft and Nokia are learning from all this and execute better next time. Sad to see Nokia came w/ beautiful products and got such bad rap.
  • Microsoft had already said they were keeping the OS under wraps. It would have been foolish to reveal more than they have, especially with Apple announcing the iPhone the next week. I can't imagine that it's a good idea to show all of the cards on your hand to the competition. In all honesty the longer they hide it the better, gives their competition less time to "update" their phones with the same features before the holiday season.
  • Why does the buck stop and vice president?? Isn't that what top dog means? The buck stops there and is why he gets paid lots. So if he screws up out he goes!!
  • Agree. Elop should be next. Nothing out of his mouth evokes confidence now. Just the same old recording.
  • I'm pissed that the 920 won't be available on my carrier TMo...looks like I will be getting the HTC 8X...this is a huge FAIL for me because I wanted to upgrade my HD7 to the 920...I don't know how Nokia/Microsoft will get their best products to the most by these exclusive arrangements???!!!