Gregory Lee
Nokia has appointed Gregory Lee as its new head of Nokia Technologies, the company's consumer tech division. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Nokia has announced that it has appointed Gregory Lee as its new president of Nokia Technologies and as a member of the company’s Group Leadership team. Lee previously served Samsung as its CEO and president for its North America division since 2014.

“We have chosen the right leader to take Nokia Technologies forward at a time of renewed excitement about the Nokia brand around the world,” Nokia president and CEO Rajeev Suri said. “Gregory's passion for innovation and operational excellence, along with his proven ability to build and lead global consumer technology businesses, make him well suited to advance Nokia's efforts in virtual reality, digital health and beyond.”

Lee will now be based in California, where he will report directly to Suri. The position was previously held by Ramzi Haidamus, who left Nokia back in September. The title was left open for nine months, and during that time, Brad Rodrigues temporarily filled in the position. Rodrigues is the current head of strategy and business development at Nokia Technologies, according to VentureBeat.

Mr. Lee has an extensive resume, spanning over 30 years, as pointed out by Phone Arena. Most notably, he has served Samsung in various roles since 2004. In 2014, Lee became the CEO of Samsung’s North American division.

During his time as CEO of Samsung, Lee headed the company’s consumer business in North America, which included smartphones, tablets, home appliances, et al. He's also responsible for exploring virtual reality and digital health technologies for Samsung.

Overall, it makes sense for Nokia to appoint a man who seems to know how business is done. Lee’s recent accomplishments would also serve Nokia’s current interest in VR technology and digital health. Nokia recently completed its acquisition of Withings, the French electronics company that specializes in connected health products.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead Nokia Technologies,” said Lee. “The Nokia Technologies team has produced innovative products and solutions in dynamic, high growth segments of the consumer technology market, and I am honored to be in a position to help build on this success in the future.”

With Lee’s position in Nokia, it remains to be seen how he’ll affect the the company’s current smartphone strategy. HMD Global Oy, the company the currently owns the Nokia brand through a licensing deal, is responsible for that particular business.

HMD has already released three new Nokia Android smartphones so far, with the Nokia 6 being one of them already heading to the United States in July exclusively from Amazon for $229. HMD has also released one feature phone and even delivered a refreshed version of the classic Nokia 3310 phone. It’s possible that Lee will now collaborate with HMD Global on how to move forward in its Nokia phone strategy in the U.S.

Although Lee’s appointment is said to be effective immediately, his LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated yet. Also, Samsung’s website still lists Lee as its current CEO as of this writing. It hasn’t been announced yet who will take his place, but Samsung might make an announcement soon.