Jorma Ollila

Jorma Jaakko Ollila (born in Seinäjoki, Finland, on August 15, 1950) is the Chairman (1992– ) and former CEO of the Nokia Corporation (1992–2006) and 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 Non-Executive Chairman of Nokia.

Career and Education

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 renowned Atlantic College, where he earned his A-levels. 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 earned Honorary Doctorates from both the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University of Technology.

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 and gained practical leadership experience. 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 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, Finnish Centre, whom 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.

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.

Whilst 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.

Ollila has been appointed following a nine month long search to find the right person and it is clear that he will be expected to be fairly hands on. It is reported that he will spend two to three days a week on his Shell duties which suggests that he will be quite intimately involved in the detail of both Shell's recovery from its problems and in the development of a new direction for this much troubled corporation.

Badges of Honor

External links

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