By Claire West

Finland's Nokia has appointed Microsoft business manager Stephen Elop as its new chief executive.

Elop currently heads Microsoft's Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Elop held senior executive positions in a number of US-based public companies, including Juniper Networks, Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc.

"The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success. The Nokia Board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realize the full potential of Nokia. His strong software background and proven record in change management will be valuable assets as we press harder to complete the transformation of the company. We believe that Stephen will be able to drive both innovation and efficient execution of the company strategy in order to deliver increased value to our shareholders," said Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors.

Elop commented on his new Nokia positionsaying:

"I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers. Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services."