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Nokia's embattled CEO steps down, Stephen Elop from Microsoft will take over

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Nokia's embattled CEO steps down, Stephen Elop from Microsoft will take over
Well, the WSJ rumor turned true, and it seems that finally Nokia bit the bullet, and is sincerely looking to change. The embattled CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is stepping down after 30 years at Nokia, to make place for the 46 year old Canadian Stephen Elop. Mr Elop has a computer engineering background, and has been rising up first gradually through the ranks at Macromedia for seven years to become a CEO there, until it got acquired by Adobe Systems, where he presided the global sales organization. Then he joined the network infrastructure company Juniper Networks, where he was a Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all of its product groups sales, services and marketing.

Then came the big leap up to head Microsoft's Business Division, the department responsible for the most profitable line of Redmond's products - Microsoft Office. Therefore he has definitely been behind the move of Microsoft Office to the cloud service that got announced recently, and is accustomed of bringing change to a behemoth organization. He worked with Nokia on the alliance that aimed to bring Microsoft Office Mobile to Symbian devices and that's probably where the Finns got impressed by Mr Elon.

Stephen Elop and Nokia VP Kai Öistämö 

Stephen Elop and Nokia VP Kai Öistämö 


Change is precisely why Nokia hired him - it wanted an outsider, who will bring fresh perspective. Stephen Elop has the technical background, the experience in sales, marketing and operations. To top it all off, he doesn't seem to shy away from turning course for big, established companies that are somewhat turning complacent, due to their huge market share piece. Nokia has been playing musical chairs with some of its executives and divisions for a while now, looking for the right mix.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo 

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo 

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is stepping down on September 20th, with a severance package of 18 months of his gross base salary, a 4.6 million EUR (~$5.83 million) incentive package, and 100 000 restricted shares, which he can cash in starting next month. Well, Nokia shares are rallying today in Europe, and Wall Street will be definitely approving of the move too, so his shares are now worth roughly a million dollars. We can't wait for Mr Elop to reveal the strategy ahead, it might as well be a game-changer, considering how stuck Nokia has become with its Symbian platform. Despite its leading global market share, Nokia is not making much money recently, Apple made more from just one device than Nokia's whole lineup brought in for the quarter. Here is Mr Elop's statement on the matter:

"I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers. Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services," he said.

We are embedding a video below, that was ordered by Mr Elop as head of the Microsoft Office division, and charters the ways to increased productivity for the next ten years, as part of the "Envisioning" series of the Microsoft Office Labs. If some of this materializes during Mr Elop's tenure at Nokia, good times.

Still, it will all boil down to how the Nokia N8 fares on the market, a device that was conceived while the current CEO was still in charge. As a consolation prize, Mr Kallasvuo will remain chairing the board at Nokia Siemens Networks in a non-executive status.

Nokia N8 Specifications | Hands-on

source: WSJ

10 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Hopefully this will change things for the better. In time.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 16:44

8. thatdude1 (unregistered)


I think everything will work out for the best, as long as the new boss is also open to ideas from Nokia mainstays like Anssi.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 06:11

2. Kives (unregistered)


A little typo up there. It's Olli-Pekka.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 11:00

3. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


a shake up can be a good thing. if it were me, id do like MS did.. scrap the line and rebuild from scratch for smartphones and leave symbian on their dumbphones. One wonders if RIM will do the same thing before they turn into the next Palm. Fresh blood, fresh ideas.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 12:19

5. ilia1986 (unregistered)


For once I completely agree with you..

posted on 11 Sep 2010, 15:47

10. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


obviously not everyone since i got a negative.. lol. see, even we can find something to agree on. androids and ibots getting along :)

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 11:45

4. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 849; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


This move does not make me happy. While I understand where Nokia is coming from, and I would have done the same thing and removed him, I would not have gone outside of the company. Anssi Vanjoki is a fine candidate to replace OPK, and the best part about Anssi is that he understands the essence of Nokia. He knows what goes into a killer device, and he knows that Symbian and MeeGo together have what it takes to bring them back to the forefront of the high end market. Stephen Elop may be a very qualified individual for the position, but does he understand the Nokia brand? Does he understand what makes a great Nokia device? Does he think Symbian is a good OS that needs some UI work? I doubt it. Someone like Anssi does though. My biggest fear is that Elop will try and change what makes a Nokia device what it is, or try and make Symbian, which despite its UI layout and basic design is still my preferred OS, into something completely different. That would be a nightmare for users like myself who like the platform, but just want the UI cleaned up a little. The chances are slim since Nokia is most likely entrenched in S^4 right now, but it’s the fact that we don’t know what he thinks. I guess we’ll find out what’s going on in a few months time. Let’s see if he can make a bigger push in the U.S. market without selling out to the carriers demands, and get developers to start making apps specific to the U.S. market.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 13:11

6. gridlock (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


Have you seen the MeeGo UI. It's shaping up to be really good, but, still, until it gets to 250k of applications, or even Android's 80k, years will pass, and they are the real added value, not the underlying OS. Symbian^4 is a big mystery to me, why don't they go with MeeGo on all handsets? Hardware will certainly allow it. It's a big mess, but I am sure Nokia N8 will smooth things up a bit, be it only because of the camera quality.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 16:40

7. thatdude1 (unregistered)


@gridlock-I am sure the Nokia N8 will be an incredible handset throughout, not just because of the camera. @donthateonS60-I agree with you 100%. Hopefully, things will work out for the best. As ever, I will stand behind Nokia until the new boss gives me reason not to.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 23:35

9. Henry Cruz (unregistered)


IT WILL BE A GREAT PHONE, IF NOKIA WILL COME OUT WITH A BAR TYPE DUAL SIM PHONE (DUAL ACTIVE STANDBY) THAT FEATURES A 5 MEGA PIXEL OR MORE, 2000 ENTRIES IN PHONEBOOK, EXPANDABLE MEMORY UP TO 32 GIGABYTE WITH MICRO SD CARD, NUMBER SCREENING FOR UNWANTED MESSAGING AND CALLS, SERIES 30 OR 40 OPERATING SYSTEM (BECAUSE THESE SERIES HAVE A LARGER FONT SIZE THAT ARE READABLE), CALENDAR, AND ALARM. THE SHAPE, AND APPEARANCE THAT WILL LOOKS LIKE THE NOKIA E52 OR NOKIA 6700. IF THIS HAPPEN, THIS KIND OF PHONE WILL BE SELLING LIKE A HOTCAKE IN THE PHILIPPINES AND OTHER COUNTRIES. GUYS DO YOU AGREE?

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