Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer takes leave of absence

NokiaNokia said Thursday that its chief technology officer had taken an indefinite leave and would be replaced by the head of its research center, according to the New York Times. CTO Richard Green, who joined Nokia last year from Sun Microsystems, will be temporarily replaced by Henry Tirri, head of the Nokia Research Center.

As rumors swirl that the troubled phone manufacturer could be bought out by the likes of Samsung or even Microsoft, the leave of its CTO only adds more uncertainty for the fate of the company.

Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported that Green was unhappy with some of Nokia’s decisions, including its choice to forgo using the MeeGo smartphone OS and instead build phones based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform.

Nokia is still the world’s largest producer of cell phones, but its market share is diminishing and it is losing ground at an incredible rate in the smartphone market, where Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android platform, and RIM’s BlackBerrys all have a significant hold.

In April, Nokia said it would cut its workforce by 4,000 employees by the end of 2012, as the company tries to focus all of its efforts on building Windows smartphones.