Stephen Elop Is The New CEO At Nokia
The leadership changes could mark a new strategy for the Finnish company, writes the BBC, especially as Olli Kallasvuo failed to raise the company’s market share in the smartphone segment. It is the first time in the company’s history that the named chairman is a person from abroad.
The largest manufacturer of mobile phones had suffered from increasing competition from rivals such as Apple Inc. for., Research In Motion (BlackBerry manufacturer) and other companies that produce terminals based on Google’s Android platform. Nokia, although in the past, one of the strongest mobile phone manufacturing companies, remained a shadow in the past few years, since it didn’t quite enter in the new high-end smartphone segment.
The new leader of the company has two main issues to address: a steep loss in earnings and a market share in leading edge mobiles that is being assaulted by iPhone/Android/RIM. Its share price is consequently taking a beating; the company also lost its CTO and was implicated in numerous scandals regarding leaked prototypes.
“My role as leader of Nokia is to lead this team through the period of change, take the organization through this period of disruption…to meet the needs of its customers, while delivering superior financial performance,” Elop said at a news conference in Helsinki, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Stephen Elop was formerly the head of Microsoft’s business division. He starts on September 21, at a tricky time since Nokia World (the company’s annual talkfest in London) takes place in only next week.
Prior to Microsoft, he was chief operating officer at the network company Juniper Networks Inc. and president of Adobe.
Elop is a Canadian and the first non-Finn to ever run the company.
In its past, Nokia made a series of mistakes that led to the company virtually disappear from the phone manufacturer giants. Its first wrong choice was a few years ago, when the company decided to ignore CDMA phones, thinking the U.S. customers will switch from CDMA to GSM and the mistake continued until the launch of the iPhone, which brought a lot of new applications and customizable features and the rise of Android. Nokia decided to stick to its Symbian OS, which although brilliant, in our time is not good enough to compete with Froyo. (Android’s latest upgradable version)
In July Nokia announced that its net sales for the Q2 of 2010 topped 10 billion euros (just little over $12.8 billion dollars) across units, and that it has shipped more than 111 million mobile devices, up by 8% from Q3 2009. However, net income fell to 227 million euros, down from 380 million euros a year earlier. That’s a steep 40% drop in net profits.
It is now clinching at the launch of the N8, its Symbian 3 ‘feature smartphone’ and Meego, a partnership with Intel to create high-end devices like smartphones and tablets.
Next week, the company holds its annual “Nokia World” conference in London, where Mr. Kallasvuo was expected to articulate a new strategy to regain its footing in the industry and to present a new smartphone, the N8. Now that Kallasvuo is gone, everyone is awaiting Elop’s speech.11