Jorma Jaakko Ollila (born in Seinäjoki, Finland, on August 15, 1950) is the Chairman (1999– ) and former CEO of the Nokia Corporation (1992–2006) and a Member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company (2000– ), UPM-Kymmene (1997– ), and Otava Books and Magazines Group Ltd. (1996–).
As of June 1, 2006 he became the Non-Executive Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell and continues as the Non-Executive Chairman of Nokia, the company he is credited with turning into the world's largest handset maker.
After elementary school education in Kirkon koulu in Kurikka, Finland, Ollila started high school studies in Vaasa, in Vaasan Lyseon Lukio. Ollila studied during high school with the help of a scholarship at the United World College of the Atlantic, where he earned his International Baccalaureate Diploma. He then went on to study for a Master of Political Science (University of Helsinki), a Master of Science (Econ.) (London School of Economics, LSE) and a Master of Science (Eng.) in Engineering Physics (Helsinki University of Technology). In 2003, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics (LSE), and was awarded Honorary Membership of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Ollila has also received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology and University of Vaasa.
Ollila is known to have been very active in student politics during his studies, and still today participates in Finnish political debate. As a conscript in the Finnish Defence Forces, he received reserve officer training. While attending the Finnish Reserve Officer School he was the Chairman of his Reserve Officer Course.
Prior to joining Nokia in 1985 Jorma Ollila worked eight years in corporate banking at Citibank's London and Helsinki offices, and when he joined Nokia his tasks involved international investment deals. A year later, in 1986, Ollila found himself as head of Finance during Nokia's renewal under then CEO Kari Kairamo. His career at Nokia continued as he was appointed as chief of the mobile phones section in 1990, and CEO two years later in 1992. When Ollila first came into power the company had suffered from internal disputes and had been run into a financial crisis over a number of years.
As CEO of Nokia he has been the leader of the strategy that restructured the former industrial conglomerate into one of the major companies in the mobile phone and telecommunications infrastructure markets.
In 1999 Ollila seriously considered taking part in the Finnish presidential election following a request from a member of the National Coalition Party, Sauli Niinistö who was at that time Finnish finance minister and who later became Speaker of the Finnish Parliament. This was in spite the fact that Ollila belongs to a different party, the Finnish Centre party, which he has been involved with since his activities in student politics at the University of Helsinki.
He acted as CEO and the Chairman of Nokia from 1999 to 2006 although he still serves as a part-time Chairman. He was succeeded as CEO by Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. On September 15, 2010, he announced he intended to step down from the position of Chairman in 2012.
Ollila is the Chairman of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), the most reputed economic and social studies think tank in Finland. Since 2005, he is chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT).
The challenge of Shell
Ollila is the first non-Dutch / non-British person to be the Chairman of Shell. He is also the first Chairman chosen for this multinational corporation in its new corporate form of Royal Dutch Shell.
While in the past both of Shell's "parent" companies ("Royal Dutch" and "Shell" Transport and Trading) have had non-executive directors (often very distinguished ones) none of them has become very involved in the day to day running of Shell's huge business. It has been suggested that this has been a contributory factor in some of Shell's business failures and reputational problems.
Badges of honor
Media related to Jorma Ollila at Wikimedia Commons
|Nokia Corporation CEO
|Nokia Corporation Chairman
|Royal Dutch Shell Chairman