Will Harris to leave Nokia, following relocation of its APAC HQ to Beijing

ASIA-PACIFIC: Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia relocated its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Singapore to Beijing at the start of the year, but Will Harris, Nokia's head of marketing for Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, has decided to return to the UK.

Will Harris
Will Harris

In an official statement in response to queries from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Nokia said it would not be closing down its Singapore office, which would continue to opeate to support Nokia's new strategy in Asia. 

"The relocation is part of our strategy to adapt our operations to the business environment to ensure our competitiveness. This new structure of the region is being aligned to support the execution of the company’s strategy and savings target we announced in 2011, in bringing efficiencies and speed to the organization," said a Nokia spokesperson.

Harris, who has headed marketing across 20 markets in Asia since 2009, is still employed by Nokia but is looking at opportunities outside the company, reports MarketingMagazine UK. He first joined Nokia five years ago as UK marketing director.

Commenting on Nokia's decision to relocated its APAC HQ, Research Director of International Business at the India, China and America institute Dan Steibock said, "Until the Apple iPhone challenge, Nokia enjoyed a superior position in the core Asian markets, particularly in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Now, the company is in a defensive position and seeks to concentrate on the must-win markets (ie China and India), where it has its central assembly, R&D and marketing operations."

Steinbock, who authored the book Winning Across Global Markets: How Nokia Creates Strategic Advantage in a Fast-Changing World in 2010,  told Campaign that in the short-term, the decision makes sense in the context of Nokia's "fierce effort to regroup". "In the long-term, Southeast Asia continues to represent one of the most-rapidly growing mobile markets, especially as Indonesia is turning into mini-BRIC of sorts and there are new potential growth markets, such as Myanmar, and Nokia may be exposing itself to greater vulnarability in Southeast Asia."

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