“The acquisition of Nokia’s phone business by Microsoft has deeply affected the psyche of the Finnish people,” said Singapore-based executive chairman & founder of Mobile FutureWorks, Thomas Zilliacus.
The former Nokia Asia-Pacific CEO is actively gathering a whole bunch of ex-Nokia employee. His plan is to acquire as much of Nokia’s know-how as possible and do what they really should have done at Nokia and push Android forwards. “The Microsoft-Nokia deal reflects the complete failure of the Windows strategy”, says Thomas Zilliacus speaking to ZDNet.
Thomas Zilliacus has already gathered a team of former Nokia employees and hopes to acquire more staff with expertise, from logistics to manufacturing through to smartphone design. “What Newkia wants to do is to use Nokia know-how, technology, and design to build the world’s best smartphones, but running on Android,” he said.
“Nokia, which only three years ago was the world’s runaway market leader in mobile phones, is today a small and insignificant brand,” he said, noting that the purchase price announced yesterday represented just 2 percent of Nokia’s market cap over 10 years ago.
This isn’t the first time Zilliacus has spoken strongly against his former employer, given just a year ago he tried to buy out Nokia in order to steer the company in a new direction, with Android as its OS of choice.
He spent around 15 years including 7 as a was Asia-Pacific CEO. He left the company in 1993 but spent another three years under Nokia’s payroll as a regional consultant. He left to become an entrepreneur and currently runs investment company Mobile FutureWorks, which advisors include former Nokia’s mobile phones CEO Jorma Nieminen and Ericsson’s former CEO Sven-Christer Nilsson.
Currently Newkia is based in Singapore, but it envisions a future of bases in several locations including a significant presence in Nokia’s homeland, Finland.
Developers think it’s cooler to develop for Android and Apple iOS.” He has welcomed Microsoft’s buyout because it opens up the floodgates for his company to now swoop in and gather up Nokia’s technology know-how.
Zilliacus is not just joking either. He has the resources of his investment company Mobile FutureWorks, at his disposal, and in fact tried to purchase Nokia last year, but was unable to raise enough capital.
He expects to have his first phone, targeted at the Asian market, on sale in a year, and may eventually also target the US market.