Nokia’s Game Plan? Grab One of RIM’s Experts

Nokia—one time the ruler of the cell phone world—has had a lot of problems lately as its phone sales keep slipping. So what does the company do? It hires Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) Europe, Africa and Middle East managing director—Charmaine Eggberry—to be its new Global Senior Vice President of Go-To-Market Operations. Worldwide marketing will be part of her new responsibilities, but the real reason Nokia wanted her was because she knows how to launch phones and services abroad. Nokia’s description of the job includes “aligning with other core functions in bringing Nokia devices and services to market.”

Nokia has had problems getting phones ready in time for launch, and Ms. Eggberry certainly brings a different perspective to her new company’s problems. What makes all of this interesting though is how RIM’s employees have become valuable commodities despite RIM’s recent problems with sales not quite meeting up with projections. While RIM has certainly been a beaten up lately in the news and on the stock market, fellow industry competitors still realize that it is strong. Nokia obviously knows that emerging markets will be the driving force for most of the industry’s coming growth so what better way to get a leg up than to hire an expert in the field?

So how is Ms. Eggberry going to help out Nokia? It certainly will be a daunting task for anyone regardless of how good they are to boost Nokia back to being a real player in the smartphone market. Maybe scrapping Nokia’s Symbian OS would be a good start, or at least redesigning it from the ground up. I am interested in what ideas from RIM she will bring to the table. While it might be human nature to want to a kick a company while it is down, Nokia reviving itself is a good thing. Plenty of people love the company and its phones, and if Nokia can give some serious competition to RIM, Apple and Google, then expect our phones to simply get better faster. More competition is almost always a very good thing.

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