Nokia announces ex-Microsoft head of Business Division as CEO
Nokia, the Finnish telecommunications company, has appointed Stephen Elop as its new chief executive officer. Elop, who was previously the president of Microsoft's Business Division, will take over from Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on September 21.
Elop joined Microsoft in January 2008 and was responsible for overseeing the software giant's Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Dynamics products. He also led the development of Microsoft's cloud computing strategy and online services.
Before joining Microsoft, Elop was the chief operating officer of Juniper Networks, a network equipment manufacturer. He also held senior positions at Adobe Systems, Macromedia and Boston Chicken.
Nokia's chairman Jorma Ollila said that Elop's strong software background and proven record in change management were key factors in his selection. \"The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success,\" Ollila said in a statement.
Nokia is the world's largest maker of mobile phones, but has been losing market share and profitability in the smartphone segment to rivals such as Apple, Research In Motion and Google. The company has also faced criticism for its slow response to changing consumer preferences and technological innovations.
Elop said he was honored and excited to lead Nokia at a critical moment of transformation. \"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,\" he said.
Analysts have given mixed reactions to Elop's appointment. Some have praised his experience in software and cloud computing, which are seen as key areas for Nokia's future growth. Others have questioned his lack of familiarity with the mobile phone industry and the Finnish culture.
Elop will be the first non-Finn to lead Nokia, which has been a source of national pride and innovation for Finland. He will also face the challenge of managing a global workforce of over 120,000 employees across 120 countries.
Elop said he was looking forward to working closely with his new colleagues and partners around the world. \"Together, we will create great devices and services that deliver the best possible experiences to our customers,\" he said.
Nokia's shares rose 5% on the news of Elop's appointment, indicating that investors welcomed the change in leadership. However, the company still faces many challenges in the competitive and fast-changing smartphone market.
Elop will have to decide on Nokia's strategy regarding its operating system, which has been lagging behind rivals such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Nokia has been developing its own platform, called Symbian, as well as collaborating with Intel on a new system, called MeeGo.
Elop will also have to deal with the impact of the global economic downturn, which has affected consumer spending and demand for mobile phones. Nokia has reported declining revenues and profits for the past four quarters.
Elop said he was confident that Nokia could overcome these challenges and regain its leadership position. \"Nokia has an unparalleled ability to connect people, to innovate, to adapt, and to stay ahead of the changing times,\" he said. aa16f39245