The head of Nokia's mobile solutions unit, Anssi Vanjoki, quit the company a day before he was due to give a keynote speech to the NokiaWorld developers' conference that opened in London on Tuesday.
In an official statement from Nokia he said the time had come for him to seek new opportunities. "At the same time, I am 100% committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day."
Vanjoki will serve a six-month notice period. The move follows the appointment of Stephen Elop as Nokia's new CEO.
Nokia has been hard-pressed by Apple and Android to attract the interest of software developers. It has been slow to respond to Apple's innovative software distribution model, the App Store. Many said Nokia's own version, the Ovi Store, was hard to use, and the revamp took longer than expected.
Nokia did not comment directly on Vanjoki's decision.
Image: JUSSI NUKARI/Rex Features