back to article Nokia's new boss is Microsoft man

Nokia has brought in Microsoft's Stephen Elop to replace its CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who leaves the company with little more than €4.6m in severance pay and 100,000 Nokia shares. Nokia desperately needs a new head, and with annual love-in Nokia World happening next week the timing is good. Stephen Elop has been president of …

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  1. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    Hiring Microsoft's Stephen Elop is no guarantee for success!

    Microsoft suffers from monster corporate clotted arteries - decision by committee. Look at the MS recent history. Hardly something to boast of, especially with the increasing abandonment of MS mobile OS based smartphones.

    Likely Elop carries this baggage with him, so how does Nokia hope to regain it's former glory?

  2. moylan
    Alien

    so closer ties to microsoft?

    so will there be closer ties to microsoft? that wouldn't be a good thing for nokia. most of the power users for mobiles that i know use mac or linux. i haven't used nokia since the start of 2009. one of the things that really annoyed me then was that i needed a winxp system to download firmware or maps.

    nokia do seem disorganised at the moment. a friend was trying to convince me to attend the meego conference in dublin and when i went to the site it had the wrong flag in the banner at the bottom. :-) ivory coast here i come!

    http://conference2010.meego.com/

    1. jodyfanning

      Nothing to do with MS phones...

      This MS guy lead the Office team. There are only two divisions at MS making money (hand over fist) and that are the Office and Windows ones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what makes you think clotted corporate arteries are Microsoft-specific ?

      That's an affliction many large companies seem to share. It'd be quite surprising if Nokia weren't be afflicted by this in some way.

      Give the guy a chance.

      For one, there are senior execs capable of learning from past mistakes. Hopefully true for him, definitely true for Nokia's board given they chose not to cherry-pick from their own old boys network.

      And second, even assuming Microsoft's corporate artery clot were beyond cure, then it'd be a good sign that he's leaving instead of staying for the warm and cosy feeling of heading a minor empire.

  3. Matt Bucknall
    Thumb Down

    Just what Nokia needs...

    A Microsoft man.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Hardly Captain Bill...

    He hardly "a MS man", only been there 2 years. As the former head of Macromedia he's probably more of a flash-evangelist!

    Doesn't matter where he has come from, give the guy a chance, if he can sort out Nokia's software then their excellent hardware will be right back up there.

    They need a high end smartphone with MeeGo to rival the HTC phones with Android and try to push cross platform apps based on Qt... and they need to develop tools to make sure apps are developed and ported to MeeGo (surely not hard, especially from Android). And Nokia PC Suite needs to get sorted out, it's looking a bit old-fashioned now.

  5. Neil Hoskins
    Go

    What they need most is marketing

    The BBC are today reporting that Nokia have struggled to break into the smartphone market. With that astonishing level of ignorance and re-writing of history amongst the media, together with their willingness to accept, hook, line and sinker, the Gospel of Jobs, it's marketing and education of thick hacks that needs to be addressed.

    1. Shonko Kid
      Unhappy

      All the marketing in the world won't save them,

      if they can't sort out the entrenched 'management' that seems to stifle it's every move.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agreed...

    Nokia practically invented that market and still have 40% market share according to the latest market reports.

  7. Conrad Longmore
    Troll

    Intersting times..

    It's cetainly going to be a case of "living in interesting times" at Nokia. It needs a huge cultural and mangerial shake-up in order the stimulate the talent and innovation that most people acknowledge it actually has.

    Elop is hardly a dyed-in-the-wool Microsoft man, but closer collaboration between Microsoft and Nokia would probably be good for both companies. And a Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset? It could well be worth a punt for Nokia...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @Conrad Longmore

      "And a Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset? It could well be worth a punt for Nokia..."

      YEAH!! Like the Palm Windows Phones! Great stuff indeed!

      ...

      Wait...Palm is doing well with their Windows models, right?

      1. Conrad Longmore
        Gates Halo

        I said..

        I said.. it could be "worth a punt". The current version of Windows Mobile is going nowhere, customers are turning away in droves. Windows Phone 7 is very much an unknown quantity. From Nokia's point of view, having a go with WP7 would risk very little (because they have several models on the go at any one time).. if WP7 is a sales success then that's great, if not.. well, it doesn't impact anything else. Business is sometimes about taking a risk to see what happens.

  8. thomas k.

    reason for optimism?

    Was formerly with Adobe and Macromedia? Maybe the N900 will get Flash 10.1 after all.

  9. Matt Brigden
    Unhappy

    Why cant Nokia see whats blindingly obvious

    Add their hardware smarts to Android . Symbian is too old . Meego should go it looks awful . Get a grip Nokia please or my 5800 will be the last Nokia I own . I've had nokias my entire adult life from Analogue upto the 5800 . I had a very short foray with a motorola and hated it . The N8 looks good but the ui is so dated I wouldnt buy one . Had it come with Android I wouldnt be typing this Id be off to go get one . If my 5800 packs in today Id be buying a Galaxy S to replace it . Android powered Nokias would wipe the floor with the competition .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because its not obvious that being dependent on Google is a good thing...

      I can't see why so many people are so hung up on the Nokia should use Android point. Sure Android looks better than Symbian/S60 but not as good as iOS. It's more power hungry than Symbian but Meego will probably have similar problems. Meego is likely to be a more rounded, feature rich and open version of Linux than Android. It will also allow others to compeate with their own app strores, rather than paying a toll to google for their app store.

      Isn't competetion good? Didn't we say that on the desktop having one dominent OS supplier (MS) was a bad thing? Just wish they would hurry up a bit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      When will idiots stop saying Symbian is to old

      Android is a port of Linux for phones. The OS is older than me.

      Symbian was designed from the ground up for the devices & has better performance.

      Android just has better fanboys

      1. Daniel B.

        Oh dear

        You're younger than Linux? Now I truly feel old. The only OSes still in use that are older than me must be OS/360, VMS, Tandem NonStop and the original AT&T UNIX. Even the "modern" OS/400 and OS/390 (now z/OS) are younger than me. The one OS that seems to be about my age is DOS.

        That said, I agree that "switching to Android" is as lame as Palm switching to Windows. That basically killed them. I can only hope that MeeGo does get some major improvements, or that Symbian gets a good face-lift. I find the current breed of mobile OSes lacking; I've basically stuck with Blackberry OS because it's secure, but it is confined to Blackberries.

      2. Neil Hoskins
        Boffin

        Symbian != S60

        When people say Symbian is crap, they really mean that S60 is crap.

    3. Robert Forsyth

      History is written by the winners

      Extracted from Wikipedia

      1973 UNIX

      1983 Gnu

      1983 Coherent (UNIX clone)

      1989 NeXTSTEP (Mac OS X ancestor)

      1990 EPOC16

      1991 MINIX (Linux ancestor)

      1992 Linux

      1993 Win NT (Win 7 ancestor)

      1996 Win CE (Win Phone ancestor)

      1996 Java

      1997 EPOC32 (Symbian ancestor)

      1999 Mac OS X

      2001 Symbian6

      2001 Series 60

      2005 Android

      2005 Symbian8

      2007 iOS

      2008 S60 5th Ed

      2009 Android 1.5

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Nokia OS plaftform

    I wonder will their policy alter towards which OS platform to use ?

    http://research.nokia.com/opensource

  11. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Stereotypes are bad.

    An American MS guy is not automatically worse (or better) than a European (or UK, have they joined Europe yet?).

    Stephen Elop is Canadian. That's nearly European :)

    Also some things MS has understood and done well. But Phones isn't one of them. Still, he won't actually be designing anything.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Right Decision

    Nokia needs Softwarer Competence in their Senior Leadership. Apple and Google are basically software companies and their competitive edge comes mainly out of software.

    Modern Smartphones are actually little mobile computers, operated in a very special way (touchscreen interfaces or the BB scrollwheel). Software makes the difference, as the GUI, browser etc must be adapted to the form factor, touchscreen and other sensors. All the telecom gear is now mainly a standardized sideshow which one can buy ready-made from Qualcomm and other similar specialists.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An omission in the bio

    Prior to Microsoft, Elop was Juniper Networks' COO for about a year.

  14. Mage Silver badge
    Badgers

    Break into Market?

    RIM is rising

    Android is rising fastest.

    Apple has peaked and falling, at 15% peak

    Windows Mobile has died. MS hope Win Mobe 7 will be the Second Coming.

    Nokia at over 40% world wide and tiny in North America. IF Nokia even does 1/2 as well as Android, RIM or Apple in USA, then their World Wide share will be massive.

    RIM, Android, MS and Apple ONLY make Feature phones.

    Nokia also make Smart phones and Basic Phones.

    Apple is just "breaking in" and has stalled. MS is retrying.

    Nokia is already there.

  15. dogged
    Black Helicopters

    Oh, I was close.

    Orlowski, if you're reading this!

    You asked who the next of Nokia would be - my guess was J Allard.

    Damn! So close.

  16. Sam Liddicott

    Nokias mistake

    Nokia's mistake was making their tablet devices not also be a phone.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a bad choice...

    I think he's just what they need...

    1) Not a Finn, so not tied into any existing group think.

    2) From outside the company, so no personal pride at stake in defending earlier bad decisions.

    3) Canadian, Nearly American to the US market but not American to the rest of the world, Also probably more culturally sympathetic to the Finns but still able to bring the needed cultural change. Nokia is a Finnish Company with global reach, It needs to be a Global company that happens to be based in Finland

    4) Engineering and Software background so understands the business in the way a bean counter couldn’t

    5) A Good Communicator. Finns tend to be somewhat more taciturn. Nokia needs a leader who can push a vision from the top down with enthusiasm, rather than a Finnish manager who only wants to come to a consensus.

    6) Wide Contacts. New CEO’s usually bring in a few other new faces. He has a much wider pool of experienced people to draw on from personal experience than someone who only really knows one company.

  18. Andus McCoatover
    Thumb Up

    Not a bad choice...

    Proof in the pudding....

    One thing he's going to encounter is a culture shock. Bigtime. In my case it held me back from full potential for about 3 months. Still, presumably when he arrives, he'll have his family to support him.

    Finns' way of working is markedly different to British or American work ethics. Far more flexible in some ways, more regimented in others.

    Kinda frightening that Finland's economic standing is largely dependent on Nokia. Now, it seems Finland's wellbeing rests on the shoulders of a Canadian. For my sake, I hope he makes it....but with an M.O. of "When something is hot, you pour gasoline on it. " he might be the right man.

    Determined, too: Last para. of http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_27/b4138032168910.htm.

    Good read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/sep/10/nokia-stephen-elop-smartphone

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting hire.....

    And well worth watching. Nokia has a lot of talent that gets stifled by risk averse management and processes. If the Microsoft man can give voice to that talent then perhaps things can change for the better. OTOH, if the Microsoft man has come long to make knee jerk, short term strategy decisions (yeah, like a move to Android will make Nokia the company it once was again) then things will perhaps not be so good.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No chance

    Even if he were the right person, there isn't time. Apple's spent ten years gaining the consumer's trust; Nokia's spent ten years losing it. He needs five years, even if he has a plan. But in fact Nokia corporate culture will spit him back out before then.

    If he's smart, he'll fudge the books immediately for really bad results. Cut lots of stuff. Wait a year. Fudge the other way.Declare a turnaround. Move on.

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