MeeGo home, another Nokia VP quits

The phrase jumping a sinking ship springs to mind, although that’s perhaps a little too simple for these muddy waters. But certainly something is up at Nokia as another VP quits, this time Ari Jaaksi, the guy in charge of MeeGo devices, who tells Finland’s Talous Sanomat that he resigned last week. This follows the exit of Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s smartphone champion.

Was Jaaksi made to walk the plank or did he go voluntarily, that’s a legitimate question in light of the recent change at the very top as new CEO Stephen Elop perhaps begins to assert his authority. We’ll probably never know, but it raises a more immediate question: Is Nokia still on track to ship its first MeeGo smartphone powered by the next generation mobile OS being developed in partnership with Intel, which is scheduled for the end of the year.

Nokia PR tells Engadget that this is indeed the case or at least that an announcement is planned before 2010 is out, although the gadget site notes that an “update on MeeGo” leaves plenty of wriggle room.

It’s not all bad news in the MeeGo camp, however, as the Finnish handset maker has quietly hired Palm’s Peter Skillman as the head of MeeGo User Experience and Services. He’s a veteran of the ex-PDA maker and certainly has a strong design background (listen to his thoughts here).

Nokia, of course, is long respected for its hardware output, but it’s the UI side where the company lags behind the likes of iPhone and indeed Palm’s WebOS. Perhaps this is the guy to help change that, although with the year’s end getting ever closer, the handset giant is certainly cutting it a bit fine.