Nokia-Microsoft: Why You Are All Wrong Hating On Stephen Elop

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Here is a summary of how Nokia went from its days as Symbian’s champion, through becoming Windows Phone’s champion, to this point of acquisition by Microsoft. The chain of events is very telling.


June 2010 – Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was Nokia CEO at the time. A leaked presentation on Nokia’s software and services plans mentions “Windows” along with Series 40, Symbian and Maemo (see: Nokia working on a Windows phone?). Note the date. This was before Elop came in. Certain elements within Nokia already had Windows Phone in sight. Here is a screenshot of the leaked file from Mobility’s archives:

Nokia Windows Phone

September 2010 – Nokia fires CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, a member of the old guard, who obviously disagreed with the new direction that the company was exploring and would have been a cog in the wheel, and replaced him with Microsoft guy, Stephen Elop.


February 2011 – New CEO, Stephen Elop, made his famous burning platform speech, the first major step in reshaping Nokia for what would end up as a Microsoft acquisition. Over the next two years, both of Nokia’s in-house smartphone platforms – MeeGo and Symbian – were discarded.

September 2013 – Microsoft and Nokia announce plans of a Microsoft acquisition of the Finnish company’s mobile division.

November 2013 – 19th November, 2013. Nokia shareholders approve the proposed acquisition with a 99.7% vote. The approval went through too easily.

Look at the timeline and chain of events again. I don’t care what anyone else says. Nokia going Windows Phone and the subsequent acquisition by Microsoft was not Stephen Elop’s idea. This was something that had been hatched behind the scenes within Nokia (along with Microsoft in the shadows) as far back as June 2010 before Elop arrived. Stephen Elop was brought in willingly by the Nokia board and shareholders to execute this master plan. As such, everyone hating on Elop are hating in the wrong direction. Why hate the messenger? The pundits can call him the worst CEO ever. In the sense that he accomplished exactly the brief that he was given, perhaps he was the best. Have you seen how much he gets paid for accomplishing this “mission impossible”?


Call me a conspiracy theorist. Everyone gets called something. The acquisition of Nokia’s Mobile Division by Microsoft has now been approved by Nokia’s shareholders. Can we all just move on and stop moaning? In life, when things happen, we deal with it and move on. That’s what men do.

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3 comments

  1. God save us from enemies in a friend’s clothing.

    And give us the wisdom to realize the folly of ‘sleeping with the enemy’. Bedroom politics, being more dangerous than the boardroom ones, can kill you faster than poison.

    Learn from the Nokia error, people.

    Whether the WindowsPhone Nokia_Gambit was home_grown or not, Elop was the hatchet guy for the dirty game. An indisputable mole that demolished in two years what others built for over a decade. Bravo.

    He deserves our collective hate, darn .

    Having hated, we now need to purge our system of the poisonous residue , let go of the past and embrace the future.

    What else is there to do?

  2. Windows in that presentation surely refers to Nokia’s Windows Netbook,I can’t remember what it was called at that time. I’m pretty sure that selling Nokia was not Elop’s idea,it was Microsofts in collaboration with some members of the BOD. Why they didn’t sell back then is actually what suprises me. Nokia hadba higher market value back then, why wait till the value hit rock-bottom? Everything that has has happend since the burning platform memo has only favoured Microsoft, why are they selling the d&s division now that lumia sales are improving every quarter? Without Nokia, Windows Phone would be dead. Nokia took all the risk and Microsoft is reaping all the rewards. I won’t bother with a Nokia phone ever again and I would not be caught dead with a Microsoft branded phone.

  3. I think if the strategy worked and he managed to reposition Nokia in the leadership position Mr. Mo would still have reminded us that we were initially hating on him and should now applaud him. The bottom line is that Elop was in charge when this Nokia Windows Phone transition was announced and executed and he was also in charge while Nokia is being sold to Microsoft so he deserves all the hates from Nokia and Symbian fans but I think for those that made the right decision by switching to Android, there’s really nothing for them to hate about because they switched to a better platform and have been served well ever since.

    R.I.P. Nokia and Symbian and those who are still morning should do the right thing and move on with their lives. life is too short!

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