Newkia, a breakaway company of ex-Nokia employees looking to develop Android devices, has appointed Urpo Karjalainen (pictured) – another former employee of the Finnish company but with long experience in Asia and a recent stint at BlackBerry under his belt – as its first CEO.
The news was revealed in a ZDNet Asia report.
Thomas Zilliacus, chairman and co-founder of Newkia, described the new CEO as the “most accomplished mobile executive in Asia over the last 15 years”.
Under Karjalainen’s leadership, he added, Asia became Nokia’s largest and most profitable market.
The Newkia CEO has also served a spell at BlackBerry, heading up the Canadian firm’s operations in India, Greater China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
“No other mobile executive in Asia has the contacts, reach, and credibility among Asia’s mobile operators, distributors, and dealers than he has,” said Zilliacus.
Newkia, based in Singapore, intends to target the Asia-Pacific market first.
It’s not clear when the first devices will become available, but it’s believed they will not carry the ‘Newkia’ branding.