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Want to know why Stephen Elop lost out on the Microsoft CEO position?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Want to know why Stephen Elop lost out on the Microsoft CEO position?
For a while, the rumors made it sound like Nokia's Stephen Elop had the inside track when it came to securing the Microsoft CEO position following the acquisition of Nokia. But, over time Elop fell out of favor for the position, and eventually Microsoft's vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise group, Satya Nadella was chosen to be the new CEO. Now, we're getting an idea why.

The information isn't exactly official, but comes from long-time Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley, so it is fairly reputable. Essentially, it sounds like Elop was simply too controversial a figure. The first bit of trouble surrounded Elop's exit from Nokia as part of the Microsoft acquisition. Elop presided over Nokia as it dropped precipitously in mobile market share; so, when word came out that he would be receiving a $25 million exit fee. Not surprisingly, this deal enraged the Finnish public because it was designed like a U.S. CEO contract, not a standard Finnish one, which wouldn't have included such a large exit fee.

As if that wasn't enough, Elop's candidacy essentially came to an end when news came out that he was in favor of selling off both the Bing and Xbox divisions of Microsoft. Microsoft's management has said that the company should not abandon its consumer properties, so Elop's vision just didn't mesh with the direction Microsoft wanted to take. 

source: ZDNet

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posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:12 18

1. aayupanday (Posts: 502; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Elop hurt Nokia badly... Nokia could've easily jumped the ship to Android years ago if he wasn't there...

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:16 8

3. Finalflash (Posts: 1526; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Yea, but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Some MS fanboys still think WP was the proper route.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:53

7. cdgoin (Posts: 365; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


It was over android.. they would just be another Android OEM..

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:08 17

13. PBXtech (Posts: 967; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


I doubt Nokia would ever "just be another...", their quality is too good for that. Could they be better than Samsung if they had gone the Android route? Possibly.

Another thing to consider, if Nokia had gone Android, Samsung would have had to step up their game big time in order to compete. The playing field would be much different (and better) if that would have been the case.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 00:04

33. Mittal (Posts: 427; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


Agree fully to that, but Android world seems to be happy currently anyways.
I feel its good for overall competition that Nokia went with Windows as it has turned it into the 3rd serious OS out there. It would have been much tougher for Windows otherwise... and seeing that Windows share is increasing steadily, Nokia will be a comfortable king in that space
But yes, had Nokia gone with both Android/Windows like Sammy and HTC, the mobile share space would have been VERY diffferent right now

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 03:59

41. Sonny_09 (Posts: 48; Member since: 24 May 2013)


Yes, I agree. Their differentiation in camera and HERE navigation would surely offer them an advantage over the other competitors. Not to mention their solid build quality. It serve that Elop well that other candidate gets to be CEO of Microsoft.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 20:42 1

30. whysoserious (Posts: 316; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


An android smartphone with THE BEST camera that could ever ever be possibly throw on it? Yeah it will probably be just another android oem. Just by imagining it already gives me the goosebump.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:58 4

10. elitewolverine (Posts: 1281; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


and some droid fans think that if Nokia chose droid they would be #1 and not Samsung....

As you state hindsight, yet it seems that only droid fans lack the idea that droid was not gaurnteed.

The only thing we can do is speculate, as it stands without MS at this time being, Nokia was in a very bad spot, even before MS came in.

Not only that, what cellphone company is number 1 by providing a stock android experience? None, so they would still be pumping money into software, MS allieviated that for them to some extent over droid, IMO.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 20:30 1

29. alterecho (Posts: 1071; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Not as bad as after MS/Elop came in.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 02:26

38. PhoneLuver (Posts: 463; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)


Quite frankly Elop's very lucky to have a job at Microsoft. I don't know which company would hire Elop after his disastrous tenure at Nokia. His decisions basically caused the downfall of the number one Cellphone OEM in the world!

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:52 6

6. cdgoin (Posts: 365; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Nah.. improving Symbian would have been better. Symbian for a while was larger than iPhone and Android. But they were too slow in improving it.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:55 1

9. elitewolverine (Posts: 1281; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


and the updates were lacking to what others were providing and cost.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 04:07

42. Sonny_09 (Posts: 48; Member since: 24 May 2013)


2011 N8 is still powered by 680Mhz single core processor when the dual-core technology is available for them. Every now and then, they always make wrong mistake bout the internal of their phone. I mean, look at Lumia 1020, it clearly need a quad-core processor, yet they only give it dual core, which is a bit sad actually.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:05 2

11. Liveitup (Posts: 1015; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


I am at a loss how so individuals who are in tech do not understand why Nokia went with WP its been explained time and time again. Elop did not hurt Nokia Elop saved Nokia, who hurt Nokia was the CEO before Elop who failed to adopt and keep pace with Apple and Android until it was to late.

Nokia going with Android could not keep pace with Samsung, they did not have the money to compete with Samsung Elop himself has said this, MS helped out Nokia financially, please to anyone who keep saying the same incorrect thing over and over please do yourself a huge favor and read the "Burning Platform" memo.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:10 4

14. PBXtech (Posts: 967; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


And who wrote that "burning platform" memo? The guy that got a $25 million parachute.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 17:55 1

24. joey_sfb (Posts: 2682; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Agreed Elop actions is now text book example of what not to say if your truly want to save a struggling business entity.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 00:35

36. Liveitup (Posts: 1015; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Even if Elop got paid $ 1 billion dollars that does not change the fact that Nokia was in a dire situation, Nokia was in a bad situation before Elop came aboard , that is what the "burning platform" memo is about. Money is unrelated, that came after. Your point about money is misplaced.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 09:26

39. PBXtech (Posts: 967; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Nope, they could have sold just as many, or even a lot more phones if they had gone with Android. Too many pro WP users here think going the MS route was the only option, which is ludicrous. Samsung didn't pick up steam until later on with Android, had Nokia jumped in early on, Samsung would have had a much harder time, possibly even not becoming the top Android OEM.

I do agree, Nokia was in desperate shape when Elop took over. Going WP wasn't the only option though.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 23:25

32. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5571; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Don't be surprised if Elop is ex of MS in a few years. What is he going to do now that he has missed out on the top job? Sell phones? Really?

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 07:43

40. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 837; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


They were worried about protecting their assets (Here being the most important one), and jumping into a market filled with Android phones already. I think they underestimated their brand strength massively though. Everybody knows Nokia around the world and even if others had produced phones with nifty features (Samsung), Nokia's camera prowess would have carried them from nothing to a big time player. I have no doubt that they'd easily be sitting at #2 behind Samsung by now if they went with Google's Android.

It's crazy to think that if Nokia had gone to Google's Android, WP may either be dead or struggling to survive, completely changing the company's future outlook.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 09:27

43. NokiaFTW (Posts: 1810; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


I have always said it and I will say it again: Nokia would have been and is better off being af the top of WP, than playing second fiddle to Samsung in the Android arena.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:14 4

2. Finalflash (Posts: 1526; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Didn't he back away from his Xbox and Bing culling rumors? I think he didn't get selected because he's just down right incompetent at running a successful company (unless they need him to run it into the ground).

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:18 5

4. mrblah (Posts: 418; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


Because Elop is too close to flop?

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:24 3

5. tedkord (Posts: 4421; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


In a just world it would be because he ran the last company he helmed into the ground then skipped off with $25 million. But this isn't a just world.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 14:54 1

8. elitewolverine (Posts: 1281; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


This happens all the time. Even workers do this, just ask GM how much worker insolvency they had. 92cents of every dollar received went to workers allowing nothing but a deep dark hole that Gov had to bail them out. They had 90% pension packages after retiring.

CEO's usually get an exit amount not exit pensions. A CEO's job is not protected under labor act as they are considered except employee's and a bunch of other things.

Fair and unjust is for those that think the CEO has full authority, that is yes and no. And they can easily be voted out. If anything Nokia ran themselves into the ground.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:06 5

12. tedkord (Posts: 4421; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The CEO is where the buck stops. They damned sure take credit (and financial reward) in good times, they should not be rewarded if they don't lead the company in a positive direction. They can be voted out, but that is rare (especially as they usually stack the board with cronies) and even when they are they are given a golden parachute.

In Elop's case, going exclusively WP was his strategy. He brought it to the company, he owns the failure.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:11

15. tedkord (Posts: 4421; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The CEO is where the buck stops. They damned sure take credit (and financial reward) in good times, they should not be rewarded if they don't lead the company in a positive direction. They can be voted out, but that is rare (especially as they usually stack the board with cronies) and even when they are they are given a golden parachute. When the average CEO makes roughly 360 times the average worker (equivalent to a workers full year salary every day) , what protection is needed?

In Elop's case, going exclusively WP was his strategy. He brought it to the company, he owns the failure.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:12 2

16. PBXtech (Posts: 967; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Because Satya Nadella was a superior candidate. Elop can't compete against that Nadella.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:28 3

18. snowgator (Posts: 3197; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Thank the Good Lord someone said it. Satya Nadella is sharp, successful at every single stop and project he has had, is enthusiastic about Microsoft, and inspires the people under him to be creative and think smart. He was the right choice. Not that hard to connect these dots.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:42 1

19. PBXtech (Posts: 967; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Indeed. It's been a while since I was excited about MS, but after seeing the interview and reading up on the guy, I'm excited again.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 19:58 1

28. pongkie (Posts: 496; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


agree, Satya is a great choice

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 15:21 1

17. TheCellX (Posts: 44; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


I really dont understand why people are still asking why Nokia did not select Android as their OS. Please look at the numbers of Nokia with WP. They lead in many places. Imagine how boring our lives could be with just IOS... or android... or both?? For me Nokia did the right selection, be different than the others... and they are showing us that with good numbers.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 19:09 1

27. downphoenix (Posts: 2279; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


They lead because they are the ONLY manufacturer that gives a damn about WP. Sure, HTC, LG, and Samsung have thier phones, but they barely contribute. I bet you, if it was ZTE or Huawei instead in Nokia's position, they would be #1 for WP as well.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 00:21 1

34. James Dang (Posts: 16; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)


Do you know what is the MeeGo OS used in Nokia N9 2 years ago TheCellX? This Nokia phone (although sold in several countries) but still can be sold more that the whole Lumia phone during that time. Because of this Elop (Microsoft Trojan Horse) this project had been stop. This OS is simpler and more sophisticated compare to WP OS.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 16:03 1

20. CEMIII (Posts: 110; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)


IMO Elop was and is better suited for the hardware mobile unit. Nokia did not have the means to do both hardware and software cpmponents.

Every company goes through this.
Look at MS only now are they going into the mobile division but with help. Elop took the heat but made the correct choice in moving the Mobile unit to MS.
Google is all software you droid fans don't see that oh I forgot. You can't read btw the lines. Samsung has been their strong hold. Now that you see and like Nokia's hardware; y'all are ready to ditch Samsung. They make good stuff but y'all are bored with their designs.

Android is a flooded market Nokia could not compete there.
Now that Nokia has established themselves ae they able to dabble in the Android biz but by no means can they catch Samsung yet.
Just like Samsung trying to penatrate the MS market. They already have a presence but it will take them a while to get people to switch over because they are publically seen as an Android fanbase.
When was the last time you've seen a flagship windows based device from them that stayed in circulation that people gasped at????

Nadella on the other hand Has experience in the cloud & his vision lies with MS as far as we can see & he has asked publically for the aid of Gates himself. C'mon
Elop imo is a go with the flow type of leadership & not really steering the company to a brighter future.
It was always known he was in favor of selling Bing & Xbox but when MS saw he was serious he changed his mind. Seriously___ OOPS TOO LATE
He is out for self interest.
MS has Apple in mind they are collective with their hardware and software divisions. I think they want to compete with that.

Its funny cause droid fans refer to Android & not Google. Android is just 1 component.
MS has a bigger picture Cloud, Xbox, Bing, Software & mobile hardware.
Apple has those same services and MS has them in their sites.
Google has caught on to the same business model. Why do you thing they brought Motorola. ____ Then they realized that it would conflict with their relationship with Samsung who has been there for them & has made Android what it is today.
Now Google & Samsung is a force to reconed with
But once again you droid fans are cryin cause Google is tighten the belt (it seems they they don't want to be so open anymore) to compete with Apple & MS

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 16:55 3

22. tedkord (Posts: 4421; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


There has not been a single Nokia device I would have chosen over a Samsung flagship. WP or Android.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 16:45 3

21. alumoyo (Posts: 150; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


Umm - maybe because he has proven his expertise more in bringing a major icon DOWN rather than building one UP! The Trojan Horse was a tool of destruction, not construction/expansion. Just read the part about Bing and Xbox. This guy is all about shrinking companies when the going get a little tough - downsizing, withdrawing, firing people and selling out. Like a sports team with no BMT whatsoever! Microsoft doesn't need that "take the money and run" approach.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 17:32 1

23. Loubielou (Posts: 202; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


After the Reputation He got Downgrading Nokia how can the name of Elop be any good for Microsoft,at Nokia he showed he did not seem to want to Please Consumers,an he Made the name of Nokia,Worst instead of better,Febuary 11th will always Haunt Nokia after Mr Elop announced"Symbian is Dead"an after that nobody was interested in buying Nokia phones,as Android was miles ahead of Nokia.but Mr Elop downgraded Android,an just look if Nokia now was using Android there name would be so Popular,an thats why now Samsung have become the No 1 in the Mobile Market,Mr Elop even never gave Meego a Chance at Nokia which was another mistake by the Microsoft Salesmans ,as All he did at Nokia was Downgrade the Value so Microsoft could take over Nokia at the lowest Value

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 18:07 1

25. joey_sfb (Posts: 2682; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Elop "Symbian is Dead" were announce even before he could get WP off the ground. Most of Nokia services such as Nokia Map and Nokia Music are Symbian dependent.

His actions is more of a saboteur. Anyway, I finally ditch Nokia for whatever that is the best option regardless of brand.

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 18:16

26. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1044; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Folks are putting down Mr Elop but know this the best selling Windows smart phones are NOKIA Windows 8 smart phones. Elop set out to do this and he and Nokia did exactly
THAT they are the Number Windows 8 Smart phone OEM. that is a success and no one can take that from him. the Android "Normandy" smart phone came into existence under Elop. Elop because of the pending sale of some of Nokia assets to Microsoft at this time is not the CEO of Nokia. If the deal with Microsoft fails Elop is gone and Nokia will make Windows and Android smart phones. Mr Elop's future to me is not the greatest. if the deal goes through He returns to Microsoft as a subordinate working for another CEO this is a step down not a step up. I do not think he wanted to take a step down . I feel for him!

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 21:43

31. networkdood (Posts: 6260; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Elop's job was to get Nokia ready for the Microsoft acquisition - nothing more, nothing less...

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 00:30

35. Antonyjoseph (Posts: 213; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)


Exactly correct.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 01:24

37. SIGPRO (Posts: 403; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)


Haha good for Elop, he made Nokia a sinking ship only to be bought by MS at a cheap price and now MS turned their back on Elop........good news Elop is a snake Nokia should have fired him long time ago!

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