HP Snags Former Nokia Exec To Run WebOS Efforts

HP has confirmed the hiring of former Nokia executive Ari Jaaksi as its new senior vice president for WebOS.

An HP spokesman confirmed Jaaksi's hiring to CRN and said Jaaksi will "lead the webOS engineering team, including all webOS development, QA and human interface activities."

Jaaksi is the former vice president of devices for Nokia. He resigned from the Finnish mobile giant on Oct. 5, shortly before an announcement from Intel that Nokia phones based on the open source MeeGo OS, which Intel and Nokia have been jointly developing, won't arrive until 2011 at the earliest.

Jaaksi's departure from Nokia is only the latest in a series of high profile exits at Nokia following a shake-up of its top executive team. Former CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvo was replaced in late September by former Microsoft Business Division chief Stephen Elop.

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Also in September, Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of Nokia's mobile solutions business, announced plans to depart Nokia within six months.

Next: Anticipating WebOS' Impact On HP

WebOS, which is the mobile operating system HP gained through its acquisition of Palm, is expected to be a major priority for HP in the coming years. In mid-September, Rahul Sood, CTO of global gaming at HP, wrote in a blog post that HP would release a number of webOS-based devices over the next year. Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems group, also said on HP's Q3 earnings call in August, that HP would have webOS-based products by early next year.

HP partners have continued to tell CRN that they expect webOS to be an important differentiator for the technology titan.

HP did not provide additional information on Jaaski's hiring and Jaaksi was unavailable for additional comment.