Nokia phone maker HMD Global parts ways with CEO Arto Nummela

HMD Global, the business vehicle set up specifically to create and market Nokia-branded mobile devices, has announced that its CEO Arto Nummela has left the company “with immediate effect.”

No reason was given for the departure, but Florian Seiche, who has served as HMD Global’s president since its inception, has been appointed as acting CEO for the time being.

Though Nokia itself no longer makes phones, the Finnish company helped establish HMD Global last year to reestablish the Nokia mobile phone brand through a licensing arrangement. HMD Global launched the mid-range Nokia 6 smartphone in the U.S. market a few weeks back, while the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 smartphones have already appeared in other markets around the world. Earlier this week, details of its first flagship — the Nokia 8 — leaked too, while on the same day HMD Global officially announced two dirt-cheap features phones for emerging markets.

Nummela was formerly Nokia’s head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business in Greater Asia, Middle East, and Africa, and with Microsoft effectively exiting the mobile hardware market, Nummela seemed a natural leader to spearhead Nokia’s move to rekindle its brand on mobile phones through HMD Global.

The language in today’s announcement suggests the decision was sudden, especially given that no permanent replacement was lined up. The statement called the decision a “mutual agreement” which is often a roundabout way of saying he was asked to leave. But we haven’t been able to ascertain whether that is in fact the case.

“Arto Nummela has played a key role in the creation of the HMD Global operation, building the team and launching our first products,” explained Sam Chin, chairman of the board at HMD Global. “On behalf of the whole board, I thank Arto for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavors.”