CEO Arto Nummela abruptly departs HMD Global ahead of Nokia 8 launch

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HMD Global — the manufacturer now making Nokia-branded phones — and CEO Arto Nummela have gone their separate ways, the company announced on Wednesday in a press release. HMD Global explains that Nummela’s departure was a “mutual agreement” between the two parties and appointed president Florian Seiche to take his place with immediate effect.

It’s unclear as to why Nummela would leave in the midst of introducing an entirely new lineup of Android powered-smartphones throughout the year — like the Nokia 3, 5, and 6. Especially with the anticipated launch of the rumored company flagship — Nokia 8 — the upcoming events could be pivotal for the brand.

The Nokia 8 is a mix of Nokia’s old Windows phones — with a vertically stacked camera enclosure on the back — and the familiar look of Android devices. There are almost no bezels on the sides but ones above and below the screen are more noticeable. According to rumors, it will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, 4GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal storage. As far as operating systems, the device is said to be running Android version 7.1.1.

Photos of the Nokia 8 leaked by Evan Blass shows the device in a blue and silver, but it will reportedly be available in two other color combinations — a mix of gold and blue along with a mix of gold and copper. In terms of the camera, the device will likely come with a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera and is rumored to cost anywhere from $630 to $680 priced in euros.

The agreement between HMD Global and Nokia was announced in May 2016 but wasn’t finalized until December. The new partnership finalized that HMD Global can use Nokia’s brand name and design on smartphones built by Foxconn-owned FIH Mobile over the next 10 years. Among the designs, HMD Global promised a range of smartphones and tablets.

Expectations were already high for HMD Global when it came to following through on their promises — knowing the recognition attached to the Nokia name. Also at stake was the already loyal fan-base who were disappointed by Microsoft’s treatment of Nokia following its acquisition. For the sake of those fans, let’s hope the change in CEO doesn’t signal any trouble for the manufacturer.