back to article BOOM! Stephen Elop shuffled out of Microsoft door

Ex-Nokia chief Stephen Elop is officially out of Microsoft. Redmond announced the cull of top execs at the software company in the past hour, and Elop is the most high-profile victim of the bloodletting. Elop, Kirill Tatarinov and Eric Rudder will be leaving Microsoft following a handover period at the firm. It means that …

  1. dogged

    Presumably somebody still remembers the Nokia X Series and still isn't too chuffed about it.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      There's s theory his job was just to stop Nokia launching an Android phone, thus making things easier for Microsoft to launch a mobile OS of their own.

      Well, the first part is done so he can fuck off now. We're still waiting for the second.

      1. Charles Manning

        "There's s theory his job was just to stop Nokia launching an Android phone"

        Why would MS do that? They've made more money off their Android protection racket than of Windows phones.

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        "There's s theory his job was just to stop Nokia launching an Android phone, thus making things easier for Microsoft to launch a mobile OS of their own."

        Actually Nokia had 2 operating systems which, compared to Windows Mobile, were perfectly competitive.

        One was Symbian, which was held up by its momentum, but clearly at the end of its life.

        The other one was Maemo which even today is a serious competitor for people who actually want do _do_ stuff with their mobile devices.

        1. mathew42
          Linux

          Nokia changed direction on Maemo too many times, which cost them dearly.

          I'm waiting for my Jolla Tablet to ship with Sailfish OS (successor to Maemo). Hopefully they are still on track to ship before the end of July. https://jolla.com/tablet/

  2. Ashton Black
    Joke

    Indeed.

    ""This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace."

    The implication being the products they don't love (I would suggest most of them), will stagnate in a sea of bugs and zero days.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Indeed.

      There may be products I like. There may be products I prefer. There may even be products I like very much. But love? No. I reserve that for living beings.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Indeed.

        ...love [...] I reserve that for living beings

        What the heck are you doing on El Reg? You aren't a techie, are you?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Indeed.

          I love pizza. I have a beard. I know which end of a screwdriver is the business end. But I don't wear comic superhero t-shirts or baggy "shorts" that reach past the knees. So, no, not a "proper" techie ;-)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Indeed.

            Real techies only wear T shirts they got for free at a conference or on a course.

            And they don't under any circumstances expose more of their lower body than is necessary at work

          2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Indeed.

            @John Brown

            Be you a proper techie or not (neither am I in this regard). What worries me though is that you consider pizza a living being. Then again, if you leave the pizza lying around for long enough it probably turns into some sort of life-form...

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Indeed.

              "What worries me though is that you consider pizza a living being."

              Bugger! I fell into my own trap! Oh well, at least it's a kebab pizza :-)

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Well, there's gratitude for you! Does anyone have any platforms that need burning?

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      "Well, there's gratitude for you!"

      I daresay the gratitude is measured in millions of dollars, accompanied by a 70 page NDA. I can't see Elop crying over his exit from Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        I can't see Elop anybody crying over his exit from Microsoft.

        FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Eflop did his job which was to completely fuck up Nokia and stop it falling into the Android camp. However this strategy has completely failed as the WP is a pitiful 3.2 % world wide market share and has left MS taking a serious bath trying to chase rainbows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "However this strategy has completely failed

        ... as the WP is a pitiful 3.2 % world wide market share".

        There are a number of Android manufacturers who would be delighted with a 3.2% market share.

        WP's problem, I think, is simply this: Apple has sewn up the profitable part of the US market so tight it can't fart without a pair of scissors. The iPhone has become the outward sign of some sort of respectability; it doesn't require technical skills to make it work and it does work very well. For Microsoft to succeed, it has to compete with iOS not Android, since to get status-conscious eyeballs around the world it needs to be seen to succeed in the US. (Sony make some very good products, but they are invisible in the US and this seems to affect worldwide sales.) Samsung spends a lot of money to get its US market share, but it is already known as a hardware maker. Microsoft isn't.

        I don't think Elop could have succeeded, even if he had the RDF of Jobs, because conditions in the 21st century are different from those in the 20th.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

          @ Arnaut the less

          There are a number of Android manufacturers who would be delighted with a 3.2% market share.

          You forget that MS once had an enormous market share with Windows Mobile which through sheer incompetence and complacency have flushed down the toilet and it's costing them billlllleeeeeeons (look at me I'm a Reg Hack) to maintain a pitiful position in the market. Ballmer just didn't see Jobs, Page and Brin coming and utterly failed to react.

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

            "Ballmer just didn't see Jobs, Page and Brin coming and utterly failed to react."

            Oh, he saw and reacted. "Hm, Windows, Outlook, Word. Nope they're not affected by this, who cares?"

          2. hoverboy

            Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

            No, he was a fat f*ck and than god for everyone's sakes we now have Nadella. If you haven't tried a Windows phone recently you really ought to get out more. Take the US out of the figures and Windows Phone is doing very well. Jobs could maybe face up to Nadella, but Cook? Really??

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

              If you haven't tried a Windows phone recently you really ought to get out more.

              If you think playing with a smartphone is "get[ting] out", I don't think there's any profit in taking advice from you.

              And even that aside, I don't understand the warrant for this argument. Suppose Windows Phone was the greatest damn phone OS ever. If my phone does what I want, why should I care?

              Frankly, if my Symbian S60 phone were still working, I'd still be using it. I only switched to Android because the Symbian one died and various Android models with similar capabilities were by far the cheapest choice.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

            "You forget that MS once had an enormous market share with Windows Mobile "

            A big share of a very small market that was at the time almost entirely corporate. I've hardly seen any WM phones in the wild.

            1. dogged

              Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

              > A big share of a very small market that was at the time almost entirely corporate. I've hardly seen any WM phones in the wild.

              This is true. I had one (I bought it thinking I'd be able to while away the quiet times writing code on my phone but that - with the Motorola MPX200 at least - was not an option) and it remains the only WM phone I've ever seen except for it's replacement, also owned by me as an experiment. That was the 1st gen HTC Touch which was actually a pretty good little phone.

              The stylus was nifty for taking notes.

              1. Angol

                Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

                "its" not it's"

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "However this strategy has completely failed

          > For Microsoft to succeed, it has to compete with iOS not Android,

          It tried its best, it made iOS and Android as difficult as possible to use with any MS based office.

          But people still preferred a nice phone to having their calender work

    3. TheOtherHobbes

      >Does anyone have any platforms that need burning?

      HP could be hiring.

      Or Network Rail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cameron?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Does anyone have any platforms that need burning?

        I bet 3 qubits on QNX

    4. Kunari

      He's getting his golden parachute and will be setup just fine when he leaves MS. It's us plebes that get screwed over in corporate mergers and reshuffling.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Chief insights officer"

    I like this.

    I want this job title. I know how to smile, knowingly, and appear wise. *

    *Key word here is 'appear'

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      WTF?

      Re: "Chief insights officer"

      Rain is wet.

      FIFA are a little bit dodgy.

      Don't pour scalding coffee into your lap.

      Bears defecate in sylvan environments.

      Thank you. Those have been today's insights. My work here is done, have a nice day.

      Yours,

      I ain't Spartacus

      Chief Insight Officer

      1. Esskay

        Re: "Chief insights officer"

        hmm I don't know... "Chief Insights officer" sounds like where you put the unwanted office equipment...

        "Why are we losing market share?

        Why aren't people buying our products?

        Why didn't we see this coming?"

        *Entire boardroom turns to 'Chief Insights Officer'*

        "erm...."

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "Chief insights officer"

      Forget that title. The job I want is either "Corporate Curmudgeon" or "Corporate Scapegoat". Either one will do nicely as long it pays very well and there's a golden parachute included.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: "Chief insights officer"

        I would say corporate dogsbody and corporate ground-zero, but I think I already have those titles (unpaid and unofficial of course)...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Chief insights officer" - "Corporate Scapegoat"

        The anti-hero of some of the books of Daniel Pennac has exactly this job title ("Bouc émissaire" in French). An amusing read if you speak the language, but a submissive personality type must help.

    3. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: "Chief insights officer"

      I want this job title.

      Fuck that shit. I wont settle for less than Princess Imagineer. Who said that the public sector had the non-job market all sewn up?

  5. getHandle
    Happy

    Ain't karma a bitch?

    Let's hope he's Ratner'ed his CV to the point where he can't do any more damage.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Ain't karma a bitch?

      "Let's hope he's Ratner'ed his CV to the point where he can't do any more damage."

      Don't be silly. At those rarefied heights of employment, you can walk into a company, destroy it, and still easily move on into an equally lucrative role somewhere else. You'll even get a golden parachute from the devastated company and a golden hello from the soon to be devastated company.

      1. Nunyabiznes

        Re: Ain't karma a bitch?

        I wish you were wrong.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Matt Piechota

      Re: Well that confirms it...

      Microsoft are truly Rudderless now!

      You can't make an assumption like that, it's entirely possible that in a company that size there are several more!

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Coat

        Re: Well that confirms it...

        You can't make an assumption like that, it's entirely possible that in a company that size there are several more!

        Of course, we have to assume this is the case. Hasn't the problem with Microsoft been the presence of too many Rudders?

      2. JustNiz

        Re: Well that confirms it...

        Rudderless? Elop wasn't ever smart enough to be a rudder, he's just another overpaid, useless (w)anchor.

      3. Tom Maddox Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Well that confirms it...

        "You can't make an assumption like that, it's entirely possible that in a company that size there are several more!"

        Indeed. They should start by trying their offices in The Netherlands.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well that confirms it...

      They still have the clueless idiots that made the laughable excuse of a game console, the rubbish tablet, all the plebs that went along with windows I hope train without speaking up.

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Well that confirms it...

      "Microsoft are truly Rudderless now!"

      And when they manage to kill off the cash cows of Office and Windows they will be udderless too!

  7. asdf Silver badge
    Trollface

    WP forever? not so much

    With the runaway success of Windows Phone and Lumia who could have seen this coming? Also so much for Win10 lifting all boats. Seriously though good riddance ass hat. Still it will be different to see Microsoft executives suddenly "wanting to spend more time with their families" because they are incompetent yes men instead of because they threaten the insecure sweaty CEO like in the past.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: WP forever? not so much

      I am not saying btw that Microsoft is going to pull out of mobile any time soon (that would be suicide long term) but simply that their approach so far obviously needs a major adjustment. Jury's still out on the universal app thing but really that should have been ready to go when Win8 was released (which seemed to be the plan but the massive infighting with clueless Captain Ballmer couldn't deliver). That has been Microsoft's story since the Ballmer days started, nothing but me too products released 2 to 4 years too late or when the rare somewhat new comes out its not what people want (see hard Kinnect fail). Things do seem to be changing with new blood. Time will tell.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Microsoft is doing well in the phone business

        Plenty of revenue, but not from WP. I think Microsoft has already shown their plans for their future in the mobile phone industry.

  8. ratfox Silver badge
    Happy

    Woo hoo!

    I'm sure there are plenty more douchebags at Microsoft, but this goes in the right direction!

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Woo hoo!

      "I'm sure there are plenty more douchebags at Microsoft, but this goes in the right direction!"

      Not so sure here. At least Microsoft had him squirreled away with a nice title, far from anything worthwhile.

      Now he's loose again, free to finish ruining other businesses.

      (I'm waiting to see who hires him first, HP or Blackberry.)

  9. Mongo

    Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

    Truly I come to bury Elop, not to praise him!

    (and it would take a veritable honey-tongued Mark Anthony to whip this here crowd into riotous indignation at the fall of Nokia's Caesar. Probably have better luck opening a backstabbing knife concession)

  10. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Must be a role at BBRY with someone of Elop's experience in turning around a failing mobe maker

  11. luis river

    Surprise

    That S.Elop leaves MSFT, doesn't impress me, but that E. Rudder it leaves yes, in its day was the Bill Gates "right hand", consequence does it Fight for the power?

  12. John 104

    Hope is not a plan.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Can't believe I am defending them but its a lot easier to have hope when you got more in the bank than most countries GDP. You can afford to go through a few CEOs then as long as they avoid several Autonomy like purchases.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Boffin

        >You can afford to go through a few CEOs then as long as they avoid several Autonomy like purchases.

        Minecraft, anybody?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Oh...

    "We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions," Nadella said. "This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace."

    Translation : "We entered the stage were we do pretend that we are doing something".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Oh...

      *I* don't know, Mr Nadella just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill that's all. I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

      NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our core ambition is cloud... cloud first and mobile first, mobile first and cloud first. Our core ambitions are mobile first and cloud first... and reinventing productivity and business processes. Our three core ambitions are mobile first, cloud first, and reinventing productivity and business processes... and building the intelligent cloud platform... Our four... no... amongst our core ambitions are such elements as mobile first, cloud first, and reinventing productivity and business processes, and building the intelligent cloud platform... I'll come in again.

      I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

      NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our core ambitions are such elements as mobile first, cloud first, reinventing productivity and business processes, building the intelligent cloud platform, and creating more personal computing... oh damn.

      1. mitch 2
        Go

        Re: Oh...

        Oh no! Not the comfy cloud!

    2. Wyrdness

      Re: Oh...

      That's the problem with Nadella. You have to run everything he says through the Corporate Bullshit to Plain English translator.

  14. Malagabay
    Mushroom

    This could get messy

    I’m counting on our Senior Leadership Team to inspire innovative products and services and lead excellent execution.

    http://news.microsoft.com/2015/06/17/satya-nadella-email-to-employees-on-aligning-engineering-to-strategy/

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: This could get messy

      See icon for response to that..... Gotta' love the concept of "leadership" and "inspire". I've always believed a leader is someone I'd follow into combat. I'd only follow these guys once.... after they walked through the minefield* and cleared a path.

      *A real minefield that can go "BOOM", not a business or legal minefield.

  15. Malagabay
    Mushroom

    Rudderless and Off-The-Rails

    Our competition and our customers don’t care about our organization structure — they care about innovation.

    http://news.microsoft.com/2015/06/17/satya-nadella-email-to-employees-on-aligning-engineering-to-strategy/

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Rudderless and Off-The-Rails

      Interesting memo... and I quote:

      "Structure" ... "structure" ... "infrastructure" ... "structure" ... "Our competition and our customers don’t care about our organization structure — they care about innovation." ... "structure" ... "structure"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heckuva job, Elop!

    After reviewing the post-nuclear desolation left in the wake of Elop's mobile strategy, we have decided it is time to realign corporate strategy toward experiences that result in less carnage and devastation, at least here on Earth, Since there are no customers left alive on this planet, Microsoft has invested in a space capsule in which to transport Mr. Elop to the outer edges of our solar system, to boldly go where no marketing hack has gone before, to establish new markets and pursue new opportunities.

    We wish Mr. Elop well in his journey, and remind him there are only 6 months worth of oxygen cylinders on board, so he will need to establish relations with an alien culture and convince them to buy our products within that timeframe.

  17. Malagabay
    Alert

    Change in Strategy

    Monkey Boy threw chairs

    Whilst

    Captain Titanic throws the deck-chair and its passenger overboard

    I guess this is some kind of progress.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So he went from Burning Platform to Gurning Fat-spawn in four short years.

    Sad to see him go, he certainly helped make Microsoft the relevant mobile powerhouse it is today.

  19. Michael Hawkes

    Bye

    And thanks for No(kia)thing

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "products and services..."

    "... that our customers love at a more rapid pace"

    Meaning we the customers are supposed to hurry up with the loving, or what?

    1. kmac499

      Re: "products and services..."

      What customers? The kind that make a decision to buy your products over the alternative, or the kind that get your products packaged in with what they actually paid money for.?

  21. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    I'd be slightly concernerned

    That Microsoft considers themselves to be a 'too big to fail' bank and will be looking for bail outs having fucked up the plot.

  22. gryff

    Best.News.Ever.

    Don't let the door hit you, Stephen.

  23. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    We've seen it before

    "reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud platform, and create more personal computing."

    Titanic. Deck chairs. And the band played on.

  24. Peter Simpson 1
    Facepalm

    Other than XBOX, mice and keyboards...

    ...with what hardware has Microsoft ever made money?

    Kinect, I guess.

    Remember the Microsoft KIN Social Communicators? Died a month after introduction, and you can bet the development costs weren't insignificant.

    Microsoft does software (passably) well. They should stick to it, build the best software they can and support it well. The term "best" does not at this time, encompass Office, Visio or Project. They all have flaws, some of which have existed for years. However, they all also have shiny new UI's. This says something about MS's priorities. (Hint: they're concentrating on form over function)

    Stop releasing every year, stop changing the UI, go back to building quality....

    Ahhh...why do I even bother?

    1. dogged

      Re: Other than XBOX, mice and keyboards...

      According to the earnings call, they're making money on Surface now.

      It's in the black, even if you subtract the write-down they took on RT units.

  25. td97402

    Windows & Devices Group?

    They've made it official! Windows is all about mobile devices and desktop users can just go pound sand.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Windows & Devices Group?

      Inserting the word "mobile" completely changes the meaning.

      I think if that was their focus, it would have been called the Windows & Mobile Devices Group.

  26. excollier

    Who gives a f.....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    aligning our engineering efforts

    aligning my ass

  28. Johan Bastiaansen

    No integrity

    Elop was useful for MS. He did his job, even if the plan failed.

    But you don't want somebody around who has no integrity.

  29. Conrad Longmore
    Coat

    Nokia were already screwed..

    Nokia were already screwed when Elop joined. Symbian couldn't compete with modern OSes such as Android and iOS, Nokia's escape strategy of moving to Maemo on high-end devices had fatally stalled with the ill-advised merger with Moblin to create Maemo. You can blame Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo for the mess that Nokia found itself in, not Elop.

    Elop found himself at the head of a company with no roadmap, but still quite a lot of sales. His infamous "burning platform" memo was pretty accurate, but he was fatally undermined as CEO by whoever leaked that communication.

    Getting out of the mess was always going to involve some risk. In the end he took a high-risk approach of dumping everything and going for Windows, hoping that Nokia would avoid becoming a "me too" Android player. In the end, that strategy did not work.

    It was always a high-risk, high-reward strategy to tie Nokia up with Microsoft. If they'd have gone down the Android path, I am sure that Nokia would still be an independent manufacturer today.. but not a very profitable one. The low-risk, low-reward strategy.

    Of course, since Nokia became Microsoft, more mistakes have been made. The last high-end device launch was over a year ago and the current product range is moribund. It's a shame because Windows is rather good, and Cortana is easily better than Google's offering.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Nokia were already screwed..

      Elop only had to execute on the plan of using Qt to unify Symbian and Meego then phase out Symbian and indeed that's what he was brought in to do. He then set about sinking Meego by launching the N9 in small numbers in the markets which didn't matter so it would never gain traction (he had to launch it somewhere as he was obliged to), burnt Symbian's platform, and put all his eggs in the Windows Phone basket. When this loyalty wasn't rewarded and the first buyout talks failed he set up Nokia X to force a second set of talks. Perhaps Wormtongue thought he would be rewarded once back in MS but MS have got trouble of their own it seems.

    2. xbit

      Re: Nokia were already screwed..

      Fatally undermined? You don't send a company-wide e-mail of that level and not expect to leak.

      Unless you're completely incompetent.

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