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Jorma Ollila

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Jorma Ollila
Ollila in 2013
Jorma Jaakko Ollila

(1950-08-15) 15 August 1950 (age 73)
Seinäjoki, Finland
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki
London School of Economics
Helsinki University of Technology
Years active1973–present
Titleformer chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, former chairman and former CEO of Nokia Corporation
PredecessorAad Jacobs
SuccessorCharles O. Holliday (from May 2015)
Board member ofUPM-Kymmene and Otava Books and Magazines Group Ltd.

Jorma Jaakko Ollila (born 15 August 1950) is a Finnish businessman who was chairman of Royal Dutch Shell from 1 June 2006 to May 2015, and at Nokia Corporation chairman from 1999 to 2012 and CEO from 1992 to 2006. He has been a director of Otava Books and Magazines Group Ltd. since 1996 and UPM-Kymmene since 1997, and an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York–based boutique investment bank founded by Joseph R. Perella and Peter Weinberg in 2006.[1][2][3]

For Nokia, he was credited with turning the company into the then world's largest mobile phone maker.[4]


After elementary school in Kirkon koulu, Kurikka, Finland, Ollila went to high school in Vaasan Lyseon Lukio, Vaasa, with the help of a scholarship at the United World College of the Atlantic, where he earned his 'A' levels.[5]

Thereafter, he obtained a Master of Political Science from University of Helsinki, a Master of Science (Economics) from London School of Economics and a Master of Science (Technology) in Engineering Physics from Helsinki University of Technology.[6]

In 2003, he was elected an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, 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, London School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Vaasa.[7][8][9][10]

Ollila was active in student politics, for example as the chairman of the Finnish association of student unions in 1973 and 1974, 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, Ollila worked for 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 was head of finance during Nokia's renewal under then CEO Kari Kairamo. He was appointed as chief of the mobile phones section in 1990, and CEO two years later in 1992. When Ollila first came to power, the company had suffered from internal disputes and had a financial crisis of a number of years.

As CEO of Nokia he has led the strategy that restructured the former industrial conglomerate into one of the major companies in the mobile phone and telecommunications infrastructure markets.[11]

In 1999, Ollila considered taking part in the Finnish presidential election, following a request from Sauli Niinistö,[12] a member of the National Coalition Party, who was at that time Finnish finance minister and who 12 years later became President of Finland himself. This despite 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.[6]

Ollila was the CEO of Nokia from 1999 to 2006. He was succeeded as CEO by Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. On 15 September 2010, he announced he intended to step down as Chairman in 2012[4] and did so on 3 May 2012.[13] He was replaced by Risto Siilasmaa.

Ollila said in a February 2011 interview with Finnish broadcaster Yle that he supported the Nokia-Microsoft partnership initiated by the CEO, Stephen Elop, and predicted the company's fortunes will strongly recover.[14]

In a book published in September 2018 by Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa and presented to the Helsingin Sanomat, Ollila's leadership style was strongly criticised and Siilasmaa revealed that the two had fallen out in 2010 (Siilasmaa was a Nokia board member from 2008). Siilasmaa also claims that he believes Ollila played a part in the company's downfall. In response, Ollila claimed that this was exaggerated and not true.[15][16]

Ollila was chairman of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), the most reputed economic and social studies think tank in Finland. Between 2005 and 2009, he was chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT).

Ollila is the first non-Dutch or 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. In October 2014, it was announced that he would be succeeded in May 2015 by the American Charles O. Holliday.[17]

Ollila has been a board member in a number of companies, including Ford Motor Company (2000–2008).

Ollila was the chairman of the Finnish mining and metallurgy company Outokumpu from 2013 until 2018.


Ollila is a member of the steering committee at the Bilderberg Group.[18] He participated in the 1994 conference and in every Bilderberg conference between 1997 and 2014.


Shell ended wind power development during the Ollila period.[19] The oil company insists it cannot make the numbers add up to justify offshore windfarms.[20]


Ollila published his memoirs in Finnish in October 2013. Ollila had recruited four security guards for his book launch event in Helsinki in October 2013. Helsinki police say the protesters or presumed activists were expelled from the book launch.[21] The English translation of his memoirs was published in 2016.[22]

Honours and awards[edit]


Georg Ehrnrooth and Ollila were fined for Luxembourg investments in 2014. Ollila was fined 3,000 euros by Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (Fiva) for failing to make a timely disclosure that he owns an investment company called Kestrel SA. The company is based in Luxembourg and was worth 8.2 million euros at the end of 2012. Ollila said that he had mistakenly neglected to disclose of the investment company and had not used the company to hold shares in firms where he has held executive positions.[25]


  1. ^ Bray, Chad (30 June 2014). "Former Nokia Chief to Join Perella Weinberg as Advisory Partner". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Jorma Ollila kertoo kirjassa, kuinka nousu Shellin hallituksen johtoon avasi ovet kuningashuoneisiin". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  3. ^ "Jorma Ollila". Sitra (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  4. ^ a b Christopher Lawton; Ian Edmondson (September 15, 2010). "Nokia Chairman to Step Down in 2012". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  5. ^ Orrenmaa, Anssi (2013-01-25). "Jorma Ollila – Viisauden lähteillä". Seura.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  6. ^ a b Eklund, Joel (1998-12-12). "1998 Jorma Ollila". Helsingin yliopiston alumniyhdistys (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  7. ^ "ARVONIMET | Jorma Ollilasta LSE:n kunniatohtori". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 2003-07-18. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  8. ^ "Jorma Ollilasta Vaasan yliopiston kunniatohtori". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  9. ^ "Kunniatohtorit | Helsingin yliopisto". www.helsinki.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  10. ^ "Korkeakoulut | Ahtisaari ja Ollila TKK:n kunniatohtoreiksi". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 1998-03-29. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  11. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Nokia Chairman & CEO Jorma Ollila; CTIA WIRELESS Honors Ollila for His Contributions and Leadership In Mobile Communications". www.businesswire.com. April 5, 2006.
  12. ^ "Changing the guard at Nokia – Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo takes the helm". Permanent Mission of Finland, Geneva.
  13. ^ AFP (May 3, 2012). "Jorma Ollila resigns as Nokia chairman after 13 years". Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Nokia's Ollila Vigorously Defends Microsoft Alliance". Yle Uutiset. 16 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Jorma Ollila brought Nokia great success. But did he also bring the company down? The former phone giant's current chairman Risto Siilasmaa tells us what he witnessed". Helsingin Sanomat. September 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "Paper: Nokia boss accuses predecessor Jorma Ollila of creating in-house 'culture of fear'". Yle Uutiset. 23 September 2018.
  17. ^ Farrell, Sean (31 October 2014). "Shell appoints former Bank of America boss Charles Holliday as new chairman". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Governance - Steering Committee". Bilderberg Meetings. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  19. ^ Jorma Ollila pakoilee vastuuta Archived October 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Voima (newspaper) Number 4 2013
  20. ^ Shell says no to North Sea wind power The Guardian 2013
  21. ^ "Shell chair Ollila employs security muscle, cordons for book launch". yle.fi. 19 October 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  22. ^ Ollila, Jorma; Saukkomaa, Harri (September 13, 2016). Against All Odds: Leading Nokia from Near Catastrophe to Global Success. Maven House. ISBN 978-1938548703.
  23. ^ "Unknown".[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Tikka, Juha-Pekka (2017-11-24). "Pertti Salolaiselle Britannian korkea arvonimi". Verkkouutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  25. ^ Ollila and Ehrnrooth fined for Luxembourg investments, YLE, 26 March 2014

External links[edit]

Media related to Jorma Ollila at Wikimedia Commons

Business positions
Preceded by Nokia Corporation CEO
Succeeded by
Preceded by Nokia Corporation Chairman
Succeeded by
Preceded by Royal Dutch Shell Chairman
Succeeded by

  1. ^ "Board of Directors". www.shell.com.