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Ex-Microsoft Exec To Lead Nokia's U.S. Business

Nokia named Chris Weber to head the U.S. and all other North American markets Friday, the same day the company announced a tie-up with Microsoft.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nokia named Chris Weber to head the U.S. and all other North American markets Friday, the same day the company announced a tie-up with Microsoft to challenge Apple and Google in the smart phone market.

The world's top cell phone maker has lost market share in the rapidly growing smart phone sector to Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and dozens of phones running Google Inc.'s Android software.

Nokia's CEO and former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop said the company is introducing new leadership and an organizational structure "with a clear focus on speed, results and accountability."

Nokia said Friday that its smart phones will now run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 7 software. Previously, the company had been installing its own software, called Symbian. But it never won over consumers in the U.S. or elsewhere.

Weber, who will lead Nokia Inc., the U.S. business, spent 16 years with the Microsoft,

In the U.S., Weber will attempt to build market share as the head of Nokia Inc., Nokia's U.S. business. He spent 16 years at Microsoft, though he most recently ran his own consulting firm.

Microsoft made a late entrance into the consumer smart phone market: the Windows Phone 7 devices went on sale in November.

Shares of Nokia Corp. plunged $1.48, or 13.6 percent, to $9.40 during Friday afternoon trading.

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