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

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Stephen Elop has been at the receiving end of attacks, and understandably so. He was at the helm of the ship when it sank. 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, as it reveals that Elop was only a pawn on the chess board.

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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:

Stephen Elop was brought in to execute this master plan of selling Nokia to Microsoft.

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.

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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.

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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. Connect the dots.

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Stephen Elop was brought in willingly by the Nokia board and shareholders to execute this master plan. As such, if you are hating on Elop, you 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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