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Set to depart Nokia, Stephen Elop eyed as top candidate for CEO of Microsoft

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Some motivation behind Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's handset division may be to tap CEO Stephen Elop as the successor to outgoing Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, observers have speculated.

Elop


Ballmer and Elop were asked about the possibility of Elop becoming Microsoft's next CEO in an interview with The Verge. Ballmer, who will have input on Microsoft's next leader, declined to say whether Elop is now Microsoft's top choice for CEO.

"Our board will consider everybody," Ballmer said. "They will do it in private ??that's the right way for the board to conduct its business."

But he did go one step further in a separate interview with The Seattle Times, saying the purchase of Nokia's phone division will take Elop from an "external to internal" candidate.

Microsoft's CEO also revealed that the deal to buy Nokia's phone business was in place before he announced his plans to retire within the next year. Ballmer plans to call it quits once his successor has been chosen, bringing to an end his 13-year tenure as Microsoft CEO.

Ballmer


Ballmer's impending departure comes after his company failed to respond quickly enough to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform. As a result, Microsoft's Windows Phone devices have largely floundered in the market, which is dominated by Apple and Google.

Elop was former head of Microsoft's Office division before he was snagged by Nokia to take over as CEO. Nokia announced on Monday that Elop will resign as part of Microsoft's proposed $7.2 billion buyout of its mobile division, citing potential conflicts of interest.

Once at Nokia, one of Elop's first decisions was to issue a scathing memo in which he compared the company's Symbian platform to a burning oil platform. Nokia, he said, was akin to a man standing on that platform, "faced with the decision to die in a fire or plunge into the icy sea."

Elop's solution was to switch Nokia to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform for its high-end smartphones. But that strategy has seen Nokia remain a marginal player in the smartphone space, while Apple and Samsung have dominated in hardware marketshare.



Over the years at Microsoft, Ballmer has drawn the ire of some Apple supporters for comments disparaging the iPhone, iPad, Mac and other platforms. In one infamous incident, Ballmer saw a Microsoft employee taking a picture of him with an iPhone, which prompted him to take the device, place it on the ground, and pretend stomping on it.

Elop had his own similar incident earlier this year during a television interview, when he took the host's iPhone and tossed it on the floor.
post #2 of 40

Not exactly a visionary. And not particularly competent. 

 

It's been nearly three years and Windows Phone barely has any traction in major markets. 

 

Will there be a complete reset of this entire MS non-starting venture into mobile?

 

Will MS pull off a June 2007 or January 2010 and change the game entirely?

 

The platform itself, in light of Android and iOS, is monumentally redundant.

post #3 of 40
If true, I believe it is a reward for loyalty to Ballmer and Microsoft. Elop gave Microsoft most of its floundering Windows Phone business, and kept Nokia out of Android land. It's a loyalty reward, and guarantees that under Elop, nothing will change.

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post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Elop had his own similar incident earlier this year during a television interview, when he took the host's iPhone and tossed it on the floor.

I'll say this: Elop and Ballmer both respect the personal property of others who don't buy Microsoft. /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #5 of 40

I seriously believe that Windows Phone was (and is) holding Nokia back.

 

Having said that, I believe elop was also holding Nokia back and looks like an ugly monkey (as a professional). Let's inject him with rage and fury, and we have the perfect sucessor for Ballmer. How long can he throw a chair? How many chairs at the same time? you have to improve this year elop.

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If true, I believe it is a reward for loyalty to Ballmer and Microsoft. Elop gave Microsoft most of its floundering Windows Phone business, and kept Nokia out of Android land. It's a loyalty reward, and guarantees that under Elop, nothing will change.
All the more reason that Elop will probably be CEO. No doubt he's. 100% on board with Microsoft's plunge in to hardware.
post #7 of 40
Strange, as Elop was thought to be at risk at Nokia because of the failure of Win Phone gaining enough sales after this amount of time. Also, Nokia was trying very hard for several years to get rid of their networking g business, which will now be their main business.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If true, I believe it is a reward for loyalty to Ballmer and Microsoft. Elop gave Microsoft most of its floundering Windows Phone business, and kept Nokia out of Android land. It's a loyalty reward, and guarantees that under Elop, nothing will change.

There is no way a company the size of Microsoft gives someone the top position because of loyalty alone.
post #9 of 40

I just don't see what will change substantially with this move. 

 

And there needs to be a substantial change to the platform. It's barely got any traction. It's got no panache. It's got three years of market exposure where consumers have given it a pass. It's stuck between iOS and Android, both of which already have all the bases covered. 

 

MS taking over the operation means very, very little. MS also runs the Surface business. Which is essentially a completely flop. 

post #10 of 40

How well is Motorola doing for Google?

 

Seems Android has created more success for their competitor/customer than it is for them (meaning Moto).

 

So makes me think this is the biggest win Nokia could have ever dreamed of happening.

 

But for Microsoft?

 

If Microsoft parlays this purchase the right way this could correct a lot of mistakes on MS part.

 

However with the CEO position in disarray at the moment I think this purchase is a mistake.

 

Should always solidify leadership before making decisions of product or software road map.

 

This is a perfect example of what is hurting MS, bad decisions at the wrong time.

 

Say what you want about Mr. Gates but he did know what he wanted to do with the company and did what he had to do to get it there good or bad.

 

Just the way I see it.

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post #11 of 40

Why not announce this with Ballmer's retirement? Why not delay Ballmer's retirement announcement a couple of weeks so they could announce Elop as the next CEO? They already know this guy, why haven't they given him the job already?

 

I don't see this happening.

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


I'll say this: Elop and Ballmer both respect the personal property of others who don't buy Microsoft. /s

That interviewer was very annoying... how many times can a guy say I'm not going to answer?

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post #13 of 40
Melgross quote:
"There is no way a company the size of Microsoft gives someone the top position because of loyalty alone."

How do you think Ballmer got the job?
post #14 of 40
OK Steve Ballmer .<>.  Stephen Elop.... sonds like things at MS will stay the same. IMHO
post #15 of 40

Watching Elop in the video, I can't shake the comical impression that when he smiles he looks too similar to Neal McDonough, the smarmy character actor that recently appeared in the TV series "Justified." When he is smiling, he is at his deadliest.

 

Unfair to pose as a legitimate inquiry, but will be interesting to see if he knifes Balmer in the same way McDonough knifed the mafia family he worked for.

 

It can be interesting how closely fact sometimes follows fiction.

 

On a similar note, interesting that Microsoft, given the chance to replace Ballmer with a John Galt type - or however you might like to characterize the type of enterprise-wide savior of which MS is in obvious need - may give the nod to a person who, thus far, has not exactly exuded the Atlas leadership for which they have the opportunity to search.

post #16 of 40

Is this some kind of demented alternate reality of the "Twilight Zone" kind?

 

Imagine, if you will, a fat, bald headed man screaming all over a stage, working for a company that purchases another to bring back patents and hardware devices and a possible iCEO to fulfill said fat, bald headed mans transition to a devices and service company...

 

Similar to Apple, buying NExT for their OS and Steve Jobs and having that iCEO turnaround the company with breakthrough visionary profitable products.

 

I just don't see it happening that way for Microsoft, sorry.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

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post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If true, I believe it is a reward for loyalty to Ballmer and Microsoft. Elop gave Microsoft most of its floundering Windows Phone business, and kept Nokia out of Android land. It's a loyalty reward, and guarantees that under Elop, nothing will change.

There is no way a company the size of Microsoft gives someone the top position because of loyalty alone.

Isn't that how Ballmer got the job?

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post #18 of 40
There's two ways of looking at Elop's reign at Nokia:
 
1) He came to Nokia as a fresh, independent CEO. He chose Windows Phone because he believed that it was the platform to make Nokia a success again. Despite his efforts, the share price took a nose-dive, Windows Phone sales never came close to those of Symbian (despite the expanded market for smartphones) and the company lurched between modest profit and loss. He was an utter failure as a CEO.
 
2) He was a Microsoft agent from the start. He drove Nokia's share price down to a level that Microsoft could afford (less than Google paid for Motorola, less than Microsoft even paid for Skype). He handcuffed Nokia to Microsoft's operating system, got rid of all of Nokia's software talent and cancelled every 'plan B' project. He backed Nokia into a corner where Nokia was no longer in a position to refuse Microsoft's offer. He played his role perfectly and is the perfect candidate to become CEO of Microsoft.
 
I hate it when the conspiracy theorists are right.
post #19 of 40
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Ballmer

 

Aww… I'd hoped AI would have posted the GOOD version of this picture.

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post #20 of 40
And now Microsoft can finish burning the platform.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

There's two ways of looking at Elop's reign at Nokia:
 
1) He came to Nokia as a fresh, independent CEO. He chose Windows Phone because he believed that it was the platform to make Nokia a success again. Despite his efforts, the share price took a nose-dive, Windows Phone sales never came close to those of Symbian (despite the expanded market for smartphones) and the company lurched between modest profit and loss. He was an utter failure as a CEO.
 
2) He was a Microsoft agent from the start. He drove Nokia's share price down to a level that Microsoft could afford (less than Google paid for Motorola, less than Microsoft even paid for Skype). He handcuffed Nokia to Microsoft's operating system, got rid of all of Nokia's software talent and cancelled every 'plan B' project. He backed Nokia into a corner where Nokia was no longer in a position to refuse Microsoft's offer. He played his role perfectly and is the perfect candidate to become CEO of Microsoft.
 
I hate it when the conspiracy theorists are right.

 

I'm not big on conspiracy theories but the first one may have morphed into the second.  By design?  I don't give MS that much credit. Serendipity? Dumb luck?  Sure.

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

Why not announce this with Ballmer's retirement? Why not delay Ballmer's retirement announcement a couple of weeks so they could announce Elop as the next CEO? They already know this guy, why haven't they given him the job already?

 

I don't see this happening.

 

MS still cannot help itself it seems.

 

So they're still rearranging the deck chairs, Elop as the new CEO or not.  Let's see how things look in a year.

post #23 of 40

I cant think of a better candidate for CEO. Elop has failed in every leadership position he has taken.  His latest, being the most destructive...taking Nokia and flushing it down the failed Windows Phone toilet.  I can not wait for him to increase the fail rate at Microsoft. This is great!!!

post #24 of 40

What about Satya Nadella?

post #25 of 40

Not saying they couldn't change their mind, but the only announcement the board has made so far is that they said they were going to pick from amongst their own ranks.

i.e.- someone from the board would be tapped as the next CEO.  

post #26 of 40

My god, we've gone from Uncle Fester to Comedian/Actor Robert Wuhl.

Tell me he's not the spitting image...

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There is no way a company the size of Microsoft gives someone the top position because of loyalty alone.

What's the alternative explanation? That he would be the right man for the job?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Aww… I'd hoped AI would have posted the GOOD version of this picture.

You mean this one?

 

32359673-1459-47fd-ac2d-db0f62227623_Ballmer.gif

post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Aww… I'd hoped AI would have posted the GOOD version of this picture.

The .gif you mean?

edit: pipped by BigMac2
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post #30 of 40
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post


That's the one… it's almost comforting in its creepiness now.

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post #31 of 40

The more I think about this, the more balmy this whole deal sounds.

 

Wait...

post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


That's the one… it's almost comforting in its creepiness now.

 

Here is a compilation of Ballmer's "goof"

 

http://news.yahoo.com/steve-ballmer-gif-retirement-party-153638957.html

post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

2) He was a Microsoft agent from the start. He drove Nokia's share price down to a level that Microsoft could afford (less than Google paid for Motorola, less than Microsoft even paid for Skype). He handcuffed Nokia to Microsoft's operating system, got rid of all of Nokia's software talent and cancelled every 'plan B' project. He backed Nokia into a corner where Nokia was no longer in a position to refuse Microsoft's offer. He played his role perfectly and is the perfect candidate to become CEO of Microsoft.
 
I hate it when the conspiracy theorists are right.

 

BINGO!

post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

That interviewer was very annoying... how many times can a guy say I'm not going to answer?

And that makes it OK?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #35 of 40
Well it's a Win-Win deal. But not for Microsoft or Nokia.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Aww… I'd hoped AI would have posted the GOOD version of this picture.

 

In that picture I see the dead eyes of a circus clown.

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GOA

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GOA

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post #37 of 40
elop=flop. the shortest distance between two points. microsoft's time has come. microsoft's time has passed.
post #38 of 40

Fire one guy for running the company into the ground and hire another who will undoubtedly do the same....sounds very Microsoftian to me. I really hope this is not the case for them. 

 

On another note, I still believe that Nokia would've done well to purchase Palm/WebOS and push it's own platform. To me the only problem that plagued WebOS was that Palm could never deliver good enough hardware to go with it. Nokia doesn't have that problem. Imagine these new series of phones that Nokia's been producing, but instead of running Windows Phone they were running an updated/iterated version of WebOS. now THAT would be something very competitive that I believe would have no problem carving out a very strong 3rd position in the market.

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'll say this: Elop and Ballmer both respect the personal property of others who don't buy Microsoft. /s

Yeah. Looks like they found a spoiled brat with social skills deficit to replace a spoiled brat with social skills deficit.
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Strange, as Elop was thought to be at risk at Nokia because of the failure of Win Phone gaining enough sales after this amount of time. Also, Nokia was trying very hard for several years to get rid of their networking g business, which will now be their main business.

Well... what is realistic expectation of new platform's success, on market with two heavyweights sparring for the last 5 years or more?

Lumia line has good growth and my understanding is that it brought Nokia back to profitability... but they did start from cold zero. Asha line has underperformed, but isn't that basically remaining of Symbian platform?
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