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Nokia replaces CEO with Microsoft exec to save itself

updated 07:55 am EDT, Fri September 10, 2010

Nokia swaps Kallasvuo for Microsoft's Elop as CEO

Nokia on Friday confirmed rumors of a search for a new CEO by replacing its long-serving chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with Microsoft executive Stephen Elop. The now former head of Microsoft's business division was picked for both his experience in software and "change management" that will help reorganize the company. In the past, he had worked with Adobe and Macromedia as well as Juniper Networks.

Elop will assume the new position as of September 21 and is ending Kallasvuo's 30-year career at Nokia. The departing CEO is resigning his executive and Board of Directors positions immediately and will only keep his chairman role on the Board of Directors at Nokia Siemens Networks. He will still get 1.5 years of salary in severance pay equivalent to $5.85 million as well as cash out 100,000 shares on October 1.

The swap represents the culmination of increasing frustration at the company with Kallasvuo's inability to turn around Nokia's performance. Despite controlling virtually half of the total phone market when he signed on in June 2006, Nokia has dropped to 34 percent and has seen a nearly similar plunge in its once secure smartphone lead. Most of the drop has been credited to Apple's iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry and more recently Google's Android. All of these have typically been quicker to adapt to modern tastes in smartphones with touchscreens, messaging services and more intuitive interfaces. Nokia didn't have a significant touchscreen phone until the end of 2008 and is only now adding multi-touch with the ready-to-ship N8.

The Finnish company under Kallasvuo was also criticized for neglecting the US. Repeated promises to properly serve the American market went unfulfilled as the company refused to press for deals for most of its smartphones and often provided North American models several months after the European releases, guaranteeing that many of them were already obsolete by the time they shipped. Nokia has about eight percent or less of the total US phone market where Apple, Motorola, RIM and Korean manufacturers all have more share.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thank heavens

    It wasn't Ballmer. He'd be subsumed by the grey goo that is MOT and we'd never get to see his onstage antics except once every ten years when Apple uses them like an $18B rhesus monkey to do V 0.1 of some new idea (*cough* rokr-E1 *cough*) and they drag the exec du jour on stage.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hilarious and yet So Sad.

    I think my stock in Nokia is a write off.

    For them to choose a MS executive to replace Olli was a stroke of genius.

    Given that MS has been so successful in the smartphone marketplace in the past year, look at the release, profits and demise of KIN, Nokia should be doing really well by this time next year. They will be renamed a subsidiary of

    Sigh! The Nokia board of directors have to be the biggest morons in the business world.


  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that's where the Kin inventory will go--

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