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Report: Nokia CTO on the outs in strategy spat

A Finnish newspaper says that Richard Green is unlikely to return after taking a leave of absence, attributing his exit to disagreements over the troubled company's shifts.

Nokia's chief technology officer may extend his current leave of absence into a permanent departure following a report from a Finnish newspaper that he's been unhappy with recent management decisions.

Is Nokia CTO Richard Green leaving the company for good?
Is Nokia CTO Richard Green leaving the company for good? Nokia

Citing information from two independent sources, the Helsingin Sanomat said that the CTO, Richard Green, will remain on his personal leave of absence until the end of the year but is unlikely to return to Nokia as a result of "differences of opinion over the company's strategy."

According to the sources, Green's conflict with his employer stems to some degree from Nokia's decision to jettison its MeeGo operating system, which the CTO wanted to see further developed. The company announced its decision in February to phase out both Symbian and MeeGo following its deal with Microsoft in which Windows Phone would take over as the core OS for Nokia smartphones.

A former executive with Sun, Green was tapped last year to serve as Nokia's CTO in the midst of a larger management shakeup. Reporting directly to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Green was responsible for the company's overall technology vision.

Green's permanent exit from Nokia would be the latest bit of negative news for the Finnish mobile phone maker.

Though still the world's mobile phone leader, the company continues to shed market share to rivals such as the iPhone and Android devices. Nokia's first-quarter share of the overall cell phone market fell to 29 percent from 33 percent a year ago. More dramatically, its share of the smartphone market dropped to 26 percent, compared with 41 percent the prior year.

The company recently slashed its sales forecast for the second quarter, blaming competition and a rough market.

Nokia also is in an awkward and vulnerable position right now as it strives to transition from its own operating systems to Windows Phone. CEO Elop has been busy lately shooting down rumors that the company is up for sale, with Samsung and Microsoft as the potential suitors.