P Balaji, managing director of Nokia India (now Microsoft Devices Group), has put in his papers. According to the company, Balaji has decided to move on from the organisation for personal reasons. MDG is currently looking for potential candidates for the position. 

In the meanwhile, Ajey Mehta, the current head of sales operations - India Middle East and Africa for the company, will be the acting area head for India. 

“Ajey will continue in his current role at the same time. Having joined Nokia 10 years ago, he has held several key roles in this period, including heading retail in Singapore, a stint with the global retail team and leading sales operations for the erstwhile Southeast Asia-Pacific (SEAP) region,” the company said in a statement. 

Balaji had joined Nokia as its managing director for India in October 2012. According to the company, he was instrumental in helping driving momentum behind Lumia, building the X family of phones as well as strengthening the company’s retail execution in the country. An IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus, Balaji was heading operations at Sony Ericsson India, prior to Nokia. 

He will continue to be an advisor to MDG and Ajey in the transition period and will be with the company till October this year. 

Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s mobile handset business for $7.2 billion in September 2013. Finland’s Nokia, once the undisputed leader in mobile phones, had been struggling to respond to the challenge from smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung. 

Last month, Microsoft had revealed that it will reduce the size of its overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, its work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. 

Earlier this year, the company had announced that its board of directors had appointed Satya Nadella as its chief executive officer (CEO) and member of the board of directors. Nadella previously held the position of executive VP of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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