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You may have heard about Newkia, a firm founded by ex-Nokians post announcement of Nokia’s D&S division sales to MS. Newkia Chairman Thomas Zilliacus who has himself headed Asia-Pacific sales team of Nokia has appointed another ex-Nokian Urpo Karjalainen as the new CEO. He has also mentioned that Newkia may come with its first smartphone in 2nd half of 2014.

In a statement released Wednesday, Newkia said Karjalainen also has been named the company’s shareholder and founding partner. Describing the new CEO as Asia’s the “most accomplished mobile executive in Asia over the last 15 years”, Newkia Chairman Thomas Zilliacus said: “Under Urpo’s leadership, Asia became Nokia’s largest and most profitable market… No other mobile executive in Asia has the contacts, reach, and credibility among Asia’s mobile operators, distributors, and dealers that he has.”

He further revealed that the company was “moving rapidly toward the deployment” of its first phone, which is targeted for release in the second half of 2014.

The newly appointed CEO Karjalainen had served as BlackBerry’s head of business operations for APAC. Before joining BlackBerry, he spent some 20 years at Nokia where he held various senior positions in Asia including corporate senior vice president and general manager of Nokia China from 2001 to 2004, and Asia-Pacific vice president of strategic marketing as well as vice president of sales for Nokia’s mobile phones business from 1997 to 1999.

He said: “I see a huge opportunity for Newkia in the current market, and I am very excited to be part of creating something new built on Nokia’s incredible legacy. We are building a team that will carry forward the best know-how and qualities of phones that made Nokia the world-leading mobile phone brand for 14 years.”

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