The Symbian Foundation’s Executive Director (title equivalent to CEO if the foundation were a company), Lee M. Williams, has stepped down.
His departure is (perhaps surprisingly) effective immediately, and his replacement will be Tim Holbrow, formerly the Symbian Foundation’s CFO. Though usually in such cases the immediate replacement announcements only refer to temporary replacements, in this case it looks like Tim Holbrow is there to stay.
Lee Williams cited “personal reasons” for his exit. Of course, that’s rather hard to believe, and it’s even harder not to see any correlation between this move and Symbian’s perception issues. Increasingly, Symbian is seen as lagging behind the competition in user experience, and also heavily reliant on Nokia for development, despite the fact that the open sourcing of the OS was supposed to achieve the exact contrary – a vibrant community of people and companies contributing code and many OEMs making phones running it. But the only company really pushing Symbian of late is Nokia, and most of the Symbian development comes from Nokia employees.
Until then, the Symbian Foundation will have to somehow deal with the increasing number of people in the media and the blogosphere claiming that the OS is too old-looking to truly compete at the high end of the mobile space.
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