Nokia's demise has more people questioning: is Stephen Elop the worst CEO ever?
Ever since the release of the "Burning Platform" memo to all Nokia employees, the ex-Microsoft office head and now chief executive at Nokia, Elop polarized opinions. While initially some were trying to make a point that the CEO just brought up the truth, now, it’d be hard to find someone thinking that this was not one of the costliest mistakes of a chief executive ever made.
In a massive, 29,000-word breakdown of the management errors of Elop, Tomi Ahonen, ex-Nokia executive turned analyst, shows how the Nokia CEO misquotes ancient philosophers, collapses employee confidence and mind-bogglingly refuses to sell a device, even when he has proof that it would bring Nokia profits. We won’t spoil the whole thing and there is definitely some bias and hurt Finnish pride in Ahonen’s words, but the stubbornness and loudness with which he presented his case in the past year definitely deserves attention, now that Nokia is burning its last cash and literally on the verge of collapsing. Hit the source for an interesting read, and also check out Ahonen's comparison of MeeGo and Microsoft’s Windows Phone right after it.
What do you think, should Elop be fired or do we still need to wait to see Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 devices come and save the day?
source: Communities Dominate Brands
1. FoneAddict (Posts: 196; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Is Stephen Elop the worst CEO ever? Yes.
6. aaronkatrini (Posts: 237; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)
He has been working for MS all this time! Microsoft wanted a mobile partner and send Elop to get Nokia for them!
There's no word that describes my anger for Elop and Microsoft!
52. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5605; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Elop was/is a Trojan horse for MS. MS wanted a smartphone company to be able to compete with Apple. Nokia was too expensive at the time. Plan B was to drive the value of Nokia down into the toilet. They have succeeded admirably.
The Surface shows that MS intends to compete in the tablet space with iApple with an internal product. The same is going to happen with Smartphones. It is just a matter of time. Maybe by this time next year, Nokia will have sold the smartphone business to MS.
54. MikeG77 (Posts: 370; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)
Bingo....someone hit the nail right on the head!
16. IamYourFather6657 (Posts: 321; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
Even a 17 year old like me can be a better CEO than him
26. Nagaviper (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Nope Ceo Stephen Elop has done it's job superbly ,
As an agent of Microsoft .
He has done super,
down the toilet 3 competing OS's of Microsoft,
down the toilet a independent highly skilled European developer-team,
down the toilet the competitive QT ,
down the toilet user platform " OVI" etc etc
He salary of x milj Euro /year is well spend.
42. zazori08 (Posts: 113; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)
Elop joined the dark side and the board of directors of nokia should fire the bitch
87. thedarkside (Posts: 652; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
whoa whoa whoa... we never accepted him into the darkside. hes on his own.
91. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Stayedd focused on Meego.
Went with Android and WP. What was it gonna hurt doing an Android phone too? What did he have to lose? He went with WP and that was gonna a long climb back up the hill already.
101. Dontwantawindowsphone (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
Nokia = No Clear Idea
CEO = Stephen "the flop" Elop
I refuse to buy another Nokia phone until they bring one out using Symbian/Meego NOT Windows. And I happen to be a Nokia lover who wants to buy Nokia phones. Waiting to see how the price on Nokia 808 Pureview turns out - still Symbian and dubbed the natural successor to Nokia N8
2. lonestrider (Posts: 85; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)
Hmmm... I think it's one-sided comparison.
I really want to try WP7, but there's too much bad review for it.
Specially in comparison with Android, which is a very flexible OS.
I want to try MeeGo, but I'm afraid the N9 phone is now becoming rare, as Nokia looks like doesn't want to support it anymore.
12. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
Bad review? Should look at user rating and experience review.
18. IamYourFather6657 (Posts: 321; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
In my heart I really wanted to own the n9
Thanks to this jackass I have to settle for something else
3. Mube1 (Posts: 153; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
despite i m a nokia fan but android was the best option elop:@:@:@, instead of window os.currently i m using galaxy s2
4. JunaidZaka (Posts: 19; Member since: 24 Mar 2012)
I love Android , but i believe that meego had the potential to be a bigger and better mobile OS than both Android and IOS
Elop made an extremely stupid decision to go for WP7
Yea sure they would get back on track with WP8 phones but if they would have gone with meego than maybe it would have been Nokia ruling over the mobile industry again
just my opinion :)
35. Credo (Posts: 692; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)
Nokia better go further with BOTH MeeGo and Windows Phone, MeeGo with quad cores and 720p displays?? it would be a HUGE killer .....
48. Aeires (unregistered)
After checking out Meego, my first impression was it had the potential to be the next Android. Their developer community was growing and doing some amazing things, reminded me of what Cyanogen was doing in many ways. I hope they can get it off the ground and make it a serious competitor, as consumers we'd all benefit from having more choice.
53. threed61 (Posts: 126; Member since: 27 May 2011)
All the love for Meego has a familiar ring. About 3 years ago Phone Arena gave the Palm Pre the highest rating ever given by the site. The tech community was in love with webOS, it was going to be the iPhone killer.
Maemo/Moblin/Meego had been around for years and gone nowhere. Microsoft has put their huge financial resources behind WP just to get to 3% of the market, Nokia at its height didn't have that kind of money.
Huge developer community? There were no apps! Developers don't have to time or money to develop for small platorms unless someone like MS makes it worth their while, and even they won't always add another platform.
It was stupid to cancel either Symbian or Meego, but a lot of commenters are dreaming if they think Meego offered much chance of success for Nokia.
67. picka_vi_materina (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
You better not forget that Maemo/MeeGo were not advertized, sold in minimum quantity and unprofitable markets. Just imagine what could have been if Maemo/MeeGo were advertized as much as Lumias and were sold everywhere. Also, imagine the amount of developers possible creating apps/games in Qt for Maemo/MeeGo, Symbian, S40, Android, Blackberry OS, etc. You still think it had no chance?
71. threed61 (Posts: 126; Member since: 27 May 2011)
I still have an n900, I was rooting for Meego, but unless Nokia and supporters could cough up an MS sized budget to deal with the issues you mentioned, no I don't think it had a chance.
The WP ecosystem dwarfs Meego, and even with big support the Lumias, haven't sold that great. It doesn't seem likely Meego could do so with even less to offer.
If either Meego or webOS were to become the first 'community based OS" success story I will be delighted.
75. picka_vi_materina (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
If Nokia went with MeeGo, WP would have been dead by now. MeeGo had so many partners signed for licensing of the OS and app development, however, come Feb 2011, they were showed the bird. Everything was ready and was in house. Feb 2011 was supposed to be N9/N950's unveiling, instead, we got a memo from hell. Nokia was earning profit and was still in a good position. They were losing market share, but don't forget that the market was growing at an intense rate. There were devices churned out by the second by all companies.
In conclusion, that memo killed any inhouse OS development. MeeGo and Belle were fantastic and ready, WP wasn't and still isn't. After that memo it took Elop 10 months to release a WP device, a clone of Nokia with much less features. Is that a way to lead? Also, check the reviews of the N9 and how many disappointed customers in all of the world caused by the limited release, high price and end of life announcement ahead of release.
5. ThePolak (Posts: 14; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)
In my opinion Stephen Elop should be fired. He is a Trojan Horse, steers Nokia towards Microsoft and even when the company hit rock bottom, no one is 100% sure that M$ will buy them. Maybe for patents, which are so fashionable to have these days :)
To me this is the inside job (ruining company in progress) and Stephen Elop is the guy that brought down the tech giant that Nokia once was.
43. zazori08 (Posts: 113; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)
Nokia dumped it's rivals when bitchy elop is not around with it's superb quality and great reception of signals.
8. kach22 (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
He is the worst for Nokia but the Golden Child for Microsoft. With so much restrictions placed on user functionalities like ios I have no intention to buy a Lumia and be an MS's sheep.
9. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)
just when i was finally accepting the fact the Nokia had killed meego and was moving to windows phone, this happens. Just brought back that bad feeling in my stomach, like i wanna throw up. Elop should be fired immediately. At least, he should have kept his intentions to himself till a few days before launching a nokia windows phone and kept selling the n9 and other symbian phones.
10. imran_khan0786 (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)
Nokia missed a big and great os. Try to get back it
Come back Nokia again.
11. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
WP only strategy was huge mistake, and burning platform memo was even bigger. Too bad that there's probably no time to try anything else atm, they lost too much time, too much cash because of this "transition". Now, we can only hope that WP8 will be success, otherwise Nokia will be no more.
21. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Funny thing is, how WP proponents are arguing now with "transition period", for 16 months already. Too bad that Elop didn't gave the same chance for Symbian -> MeeGo transition, which was ongoing when he decided to kill both Symbian and MeeGo. Not to mention, that this transition was doing much better than current WP only transition. Nokia stock rised from 8.15 (july 2010) to 11.73 (feb 2011), until Elop's stupid burning platform memo appeared. Since than, Nokia's stock collapsed, from 11.73 to 1.84. Nokia lost 85% of it's value thanks to Elop.
Surely, he "saved" some money by cancelling further MeeGo and Symbian development. But he subsequently lost much more, because (almost) no one is going to buy a smartphone based on burning platform. Not to mention that Nokia basicly lost all Qt developers, and loyal fans.
On top of it, he basicly ignored any new Symbian smartphones, including 808 (all market effort was Lumia), and he did his best to kill N9 (by limiting its availability to selected "not that important" markets). He killed Meltemi basicly two months before it was completed and lost hundreds of Linux and Qt specialists. And he's going to give Nokia's offline navigation to all WP smartphones, basicly giving it to Microsoft.
13. Ray.S (Posts: 253; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
In my opinion, WP7 seems like a much better way to go than MeeGo. And that "feature comparison" by Ahonen is soooo far from reality...
23. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
What about this: Free to Nokia, Ecosystem and Nokia own. These are Nokia own, I don't like Nokia, but still there are lot of people crazy about Nokia, so if Stephen choose MeeGo or any OS by their own even from Scratch they could have been in a good shape.
I my point of view choosing MS is not good.
29. allen83 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Mar 2012)
Or how about this Nokia has a huge developer community compared to Windows only has large community developer community. Nokia DON'T have to buy a developer, the developer comes to them. Unlike Windows they BUY the developers for them to come to them.
32. Ray.S (Posts: 253; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
What kind of developer community are you talking about? There might have been a lot of apps for previous Nokia devices, but they were mostly Java apps. Today's business is different, and Java apps don't cut it. And those developers who have previously worked for the Ovi Store can now submit their (new) apps to the Windows Marketplace, where they'll be much more discoverable from now on.
57. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Well, Android apps are basicly Java aswell. Also, apps were and still are much more discoverable at Nokia/Ovi store than on Windows Marketplace, because there are MUCH more Symbian handsets out there than WP ones.
61. ToTTenTranz (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Developer community = Qt developer community = Symbian + MeeGo + Windows x86 + Android developer community.
Cross-platform compatibility would've been at the distance of a simple recompile button.
Java was, and still is, a huge deal on markets with a huge population (India, China, South America, etc). Just because americans like the "native apps" fashion it doesn't make it the only thing in the world that matters.
And here's who submits apps for the windows marketplace:
- A handful of developers being paid by Microsoft to have the hassle to deploy for their app store.
There's no relevant WP7 sales -> There's no relevant WP7 user base -> there's no relevant revenues to be made in that platform.
Symbian had several hundreds of millions of potential customers in OVI store.
Marketplace has but a handful of millions, mostly driven by the Lumia 900 being given away for free with a contract,
44. zazori08 (Posts: 113; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)
dang. i for one feel so sorry for you Ray. S
14. ARITRA (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
If i were ceo of nokia:P i would have used android as my first choice and then meego as my back up!
20. IamYourFather6657 (Posts: 321; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
Then you have a hard time selling meego devices .
Keep your own product a priority compared with google's product .
Not that I hate android just that meego should be given higher priority
34. wendygarett (unregistered)
How about MeeGo + Google Play + Google Now + Swipe Harmattan UI
Does it sound better
15. azafirster (Posts: 41; Member since: 01 May 2012)
Here is a fact, he is a ex-exec from microsoft. Came into Nokia, forced the adoption of Windows Phone, then killed MeeGo and started killing Symbian Belle and so forth. I bet microsft will just swallow and just kill of Nokia just to swallow their patents. Can someone say Conspiracy theory, maybe, but look at nokia now.
19. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
I honestly hope that you fan boys, will choke on your own words.
22. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
My god who allows these articles on the net? Freedom of sppech i guess -.-
Anyways... Slave to microsoft? very objective assesment, no feelings in there whatsoever, -nokia no say? nokia no spend money on r/d, Compatibility with android= who cares, all/most apps i need i have both on wp and droid, Designed pc first???? wtf, what part of my wp 7.5 has anything to do with my w7??, medicore OS? just read the opinions of people that have actually used a wp device, ignores nokia knowhow? how did nokia maps find its way to every wp8 device then? retail boycott? havent seen that, pay licence fees? dont think so, read somewhere that it might be the other way around, meego ecosystem?? what is he talking about?? and so on and so on. I agree wp has its shortcomings, but is far far superrior to meego, and come wp8 this will just increase. you droidboys should be a little more objective...
62. ToTTenTranz (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Too bad that when WP8 comes out you'll have to throw away your beloved and brand-new WP7 device, because Microsoft apparently doesn't give a crap about you, and certainly not as much as you do, trying to defend them.
77. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Your wrong, you see i bought a lg optimus 7 almost 2 years ago and cant wait to upgrade to a wp8 nokia...
i do feel bad for lumia 900 owners, but even with wp7.8 it will be an awesome device, imho far superrior to a iphone 4s....
and why would i throw away a perfectly good phone? my optimus 7 has all the options i need and with wp8 nokias will be even better.
24. smartphonemad (Posts: 42; Member since: 10 Jul 2012)
Im waiting for the group that formed afew days back -i think they're called Jolla- to get meego devices into production again.
25. tes101 (Posts: 39; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
I will judge hes work after wp8 but there is no denying he made some stupid decisions which he is regretting.
27. redmd (Posts: 868; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
In my opinion, Nokia should have included Android alongside with windows phone and continue to develop Meego and Symbian.
28. tes101 (Posts: 39; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Where must all the money come from for all that development??/?
70. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)
Meego was already being developed and would have continued to be... Mics would have pitched in for the WP development.
30. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2940; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Nokia should have went with Android.
31. Altair (Posts: 323; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Ahhh just another anti-nokia article from Victor.
He is anti - Nokia & MS troll and does his job poorly. It's just proper thing to give him some feedback.
- First of all his journalist skills have been poor. Usually he doesn't bother to find out any real facts, instead he likes to speculate and tell his own opinnions (trolling).
**NEWS for you mr. journalist** Nokia downhill started at 2006. If you have to blame someone, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is the one you should call bad CEO. Most bad decicions has been made by him. Elop is there to fix problems maded by others.
- Victor doesn't know anything about objective point of view. He likes to use his position as "official trolling chair".
- In this year, more than 50 articles from Victor have been negative about Nokia & MS. Just 3 neutrals and no positives at all.
- Why we have to see financial articles here at Phonearena? There are other medias which are educated better at this subject. Usually people are coming here to find information about new tech in mobile devices.
Here is my finger for you Victor ..|..
33. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2940; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
I will give you that and add to it. He has bashed and made silly claims about Android and Samsung especially. "Samsung doesn't mention that S Beam Share is only for SGS3 devices" even tho they state ONLY AVAILABLE ON THE SGS3.
I have also noticed how quick he is to defend and try to justify Apple when they stop going green. Really? Come on, any time a company stops going green its horrible for their rep and customers will not like that one bit. If Samsung or Google in general stopped going green on their products you best believe I'd be pissed off too.
37. Altair (Posts: 323; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Yep he is a very unprofessional journalist in many ways. Wondering why Phonearena lets him write day after day. Victor should check Michael Fisher at Pocketnow and learn from him.
Btw. I am writing these messages with my iPad.
36. NokiaSupport (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
I can say that Nokia is walking in wrong ways to have Elop as CEO and to have Microsoft as based OS. I will definitely support Nokia - Meego or Nokia - Symbian rather than support Nokia Microsoft.
Nokia, if u want your firm to be collapsed soonest, you should continue with Microsoft and have Elop as CEO.
N9 is the big success for Meego OS, but where is your success with window phone OS?
Lumia family? You should know people buy lumia not because they like Window phone, but it is because of your device (quality, design, brand and remember not window phone OS).
38. Altair (Posts: 323; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Mate, I have to disagree with you. There are many things already showing out, that WP was a good choice.
At 2011 february, Nokia had only one choice. Look at other Android OEM:s atm. They are struggling and only Samsung is actually making some real money with Android. Samsung has many good advantages which guarantees that success. Nokia knew about this. Windows Phone was the only good choice. Symbian were failure at the beginning (although _IF_ the 1st Symbian phone Nokia N8 had Belle OS, the history would be different now).
Windows Phone 8 will change everything. You will see.
I agree with you about Meego. Luckily for us, Meego is now secured by Jolla. At the end of this year, we are going to see a new Meego phone!
66. ToTTenTranz (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
1 - Nokia was making money with Symbian before February '11. In fact, it had been making INCREASINGLY MORE MONEY from the earlier quarter since the first Symbian^3 devices launched. It was reaching record sales from its smartphone division.
This makes your "only had one choice" argument pretty much pointless, since it's just another re-spewing of Elop's immensely flawed pseudo-arguments to destroy Nokia's own ecossystem.
2 - Symbian had been scheduled to step down from mid/high-end smartphones since early 2010. MeeGo was supposed to be their flagship OS, and it was backed up by Intel with Medfield.
In fact, you should thank Elop for NOT having - in the market right now - a high-end smartphone from Nokia with MeeGo/Swipe UX, HD screen, PureView camera module and a 2GHz Z2460 Intel Medfield in it.
Come on, say it out loud: "Thank you Elop for screwing up what would have been the best smartphone of 2012".
39. thunderising (Posts: 225; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)
FInALLY they have realised he is s**tTY
40. mutefury (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Elop sounds and acts like an illuminati agent to me. Thanks to him Nokia is in the hands of the wrong dudes.
41. Veigald (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)
I'd say it's closer to Ahonen being the worst "analyst" ever than Elop the worst CEO ever. Ahonen was part of the problem Elop and the current management is trying to clean up.
59. ToTTenTranz (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Too bad he's been spot on in his analysis throughout the past 2 years, making him a much better "analyst" than the "analyst critic" you'll ever be.