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CFO ready for growth but Nokia crew eye lifeboats

When Nokia execs eyed Apple’s new toy back in 2007, they would have thought it was exactly that. A toy. Certainly this iPhone thingamajig could not be taken seriously and under no circumstances would it bring about the death of an era. Shirley not.

For a Nordic Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to see his stock rated ‘less useful than used toilet paper’ is probably one of the most heart-wrenching situations you could imagine. Proud as a people, the Finns believe that intelligence, hard work and planning will win the day.

Unfortunately, even the newest of undergraduates at Helsinki Business College (merged with The Finnish Business College) will tell you that a lifetime of hardwork will struggle to overcome a moment of genius or inspiration.

The weird thing is that Nokia’s Communicator was the forerunner of every modern smartphone, but they justs didn’t know how to take it forward.

Yesterday’s news that Nokia shares are now rated around the same level as junk bonds by Fitch, is disheartening enough – but when international ratings agencies say that your company’s rating could be downgraded further unless Nokia takes swift and decisive action and launches a number of successful devices – then you know that the world plus dog is against you.

In reality, there’s little hope for Nokia in the short term. All they can do is look over at fellow punching bag, Blackberry, and hope that there will be a second act in the mobile communications play.

Trying to stand tall in the face of an overwhelmingly bad situation, Timo Ihamuotila (Nokia’s CFO) said “We are quickly taking action to position Nokia for future growth and success. Nokia will continue to increase its focus on lowering the company’s cost structure, improving cash flow and maintaining a strong financial position”.

Asked what would be needed to get Nokia back on track, Fitch said that the Finns would need to generate a profit, Adding that it was “…not convinced that Nokia can attain this over the course of 18 months”.

One second, Nokia's CFO Timo Ihamuotila (left) is business explaining how he will catch the failing company and turn things around - next frame he seems to have disappeared. We hope this is not a portent.

KitGuru says: We’ve met with Finnish business folks a number of times, but we’ve never seen them keen to move fast – for anyone.

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