My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« Avoin kirje Nokian osakkeenomistajille (This blog article in Finnish, English version is Open Letter to Nokia Shareholders here also published today) | Main | Largest Computer Makers When Smartphones Included - Apple dominates, nearly twice as big as nearest rival (which is, of course, Samsung not HP) »

August 22, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e0097e337c883301761761cf22970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Open Letter to Nokia Shareholders:

Comments

Vinicius

This is, by far, the most moderate commentary you've made in a while. And I think it might be one of your better ones.

I don't think any CEO change can help Nokia now, nor any other kind of change. The only thing to save Nokia would be an unprecedented success in WP8.


The decision to fire Elop should have occurred while the N9 was still manufactured and shipped, so it could have lived and be supported.

The decision to fire Elop should have occurred before the launch of the 808, with HUGE marketing backing up. Most people don't even know such a thing exists outside the geek community.

The decision to fire Elop should have occurred before the closing of every single factory in Finland, the firing of most staff not related to Asha or WP, and the murder of old Nokia. No one associates Nokia to the n95, or the great hardware from the past now, they associate it with "failure" of Symbian, with the early termination of support for their phones (n9, Lumias with WP7) and with general lackluster support.


Nokia today is kind like a spaceship, an Apollo "n". You have already launched onto space (WP), and you can only hope for the best, because if you can't make the turnaround on the Moon you will end up without any oxigen, food or support, and will dead. Simply because Nokia went to far away from any other safeguard it could have used.

I mourn Nokia for about 4 to 5 months now. Me and my 808.

Jamie

Tomi,

Well stated, though I think you have spelt out the minimum of a myriad of fatal decision that Elop has made. All is not yet lost for Nokia, there is a large user base that can be still tapped on but that also is dwindling very fast. I don't blame the couriers and this fight to save Nokia is as well their own. Many would like to embrace Nokia but once there is a leadership that is prepared to address their concerns. And it is not only the Carriers/Operators but the end users as well. Many feel disillusioned and disgusted with the way they have been treated - not offered the choice (N9, No upgrade path with Lumias, etc). A level of trust has been lost and no hype (Sept marketing act for select few) will change this.

I disagree with your notion here that "to hire the next CEO not from inside Nokia or from the West Coast, but from - of course - the carrier community!".. This is looking for messiah to come from the skies. No, it is no solution. Nokia's new CEO needs to understand the Mobile phone business, production marketing and readiness to market, latest trends and product development. He may need an able marketing and sales VP, possibly from the carrier community but CEO needs to understand the challenges right from start and not be learning this on the job - this was possibly part of Elop's problem.

I would suggest that Nokia appoints next CEO from a veteran of Nokians, either still with Nokia or one who has moved to other challenges. I am certain there are many who would do a sterling job as CEO and for a fraction of what Nokia pays Elop. It has to be someone with an undevided loyalty to Nokia not through Stock options but through shared company values, which distinguished Nokia. There is need to re-discover the strengths that once made Nokia one of the top 10 companies, possibly the only one outside of USA. Also this would boost Nokians morale and that would strengthen the company. I would say a Finn or European with a Nokia background would be best suited to quickly turn the company around. Nokia is bleeding cash and does not have 4 - 5 years, it needs to turn around in 3 - 4 quaters, months not years. An external CEO will be learning on the job and will be prone to same Elop mistakes.

It is not necessary that a person from the carrier community takes over. What the carrier community wants is someone who will be honest and be willig to listen to their concerns ! One that will be an ally not sabotage their efforts.

Another CEO experiementation in Nokia would mean certain destruction. There are many good directors who left the company during JO and OPK's reign. Some due to the same frustrations that led to these issues. However the appointment of Elop, a greenhorn in mobile phone business, a competitor mole and a loose canon was the worst decision by Nokia management.

It is possible that Microsoft will create a 3rd Ecosystem, but that can not come soon enough for Nokia. It will come too late. But Elop stewardship is nothing short of a Titanic monet for Nokia. Throw in WP8, 3rd Ecosystem etc, wont save Nokia with current state of Sales channels, mistrust and hamouraging user base.

DA

There is still money and resources within Nokia to turn the company into profits if Elop will be fired now. A CEO change would allow Nokia to go for Android or pick up MeeGo again as there is simply not big enough interest in WP.

Nokia should concentrate on producing and selling phones and should not be in the frontline of the MS crusade against Google and Apple as neither Google or Apple is Nokias real competitors. Nokia has to compete where the sales is and getting a few percents of the Android market would be a lot more profitable than getting 80-90 percents of the tiny WP market. Marketing resources should not be spent on selling the WP concept as these resources is needed to sell phones for which OS there already is a demand for.


Fabio Correa

The new CEO will not be the messiah of Nokia. Getting him from the carrier community is only one of the many things that have to happen for the healing to succeed. Obviously such a CEO will not be the best option to manage a handset company because a carrier company has a different structure than a handset company. So the new CEO will need good advice from good staff that understand the handset business.

A CEO from the carrier community will undoubtedly be the messiah of the carrier relationships, but he will have to do more than that to recover Nokia.

jo

CEO change may not save nokia,

but it will stop the bleeding

regarless nokia on the smartphone sector have to start from scratch.

new CEO have to be REALLY GOOD, it gotta try to put the titanic into float after being assaulted by microsoft

geektech

The first thing the new CEO have to do is to reopen the online store, u would not like to buy a Nokia at Amazon or other online store.
My last Nokia was a N9, what an amazing thing, but I really gave up on Nokia, waiting for an inside change now, maybe I could get 808.
Maybe users can support here too.
http://www.change.org/petitions#search/fire Elop

ssdh

Tomi, I agree with Jamie..

The next CEO should most likely be a Nokia veteran, who will be brave enough to immediately stop all WP related projects, fire all MS moles and microsoftians inside nokia, deeply understands the handset operation process as well as handset design, and has very good reputation among carrier community..
But the VPs and execs relating to sales and carrier relations must be a person from the carrier community, who knows exactly how to work out carrier relations..

tired

Another great post, moderate and to the point. Even though it might be a bit late, it will help Nokia's reputation in the short term. Probably the only thing that is gonna bring Nokia back from the brink is bringing back the old roadmap for OS that Nokia had. The one elop was hired to implement in the first place. let wp die the slow death it was always meant for. Bring back the trust consumers had in Nokia and save Nokia from the wp suicide pact

Baron95

If the new CEO would spin off NSN and fire 30,000 Nokia deadwood immediately, then I'm all for it. Else just let Nokia bob along the coattails of Windows 8, the new Verizon phone launch, etc. The stock is doing great in the past few weeks.

tired

Would it be possible to to reverse the meltemi decision and outsource Meego harmattan dev to jolla mobile as a way of bringing back customer confidence in Nokia after elop is fired?

karlim

Been away a while. But all in all, not getting into data disagreements. Nokia has a single chance to survive. WP success. That's it.

Symbian is dead. People moved away.

Meego is dead. People moved away. Some of them are trying to resurrect Maemo with 50 to 100 people. Really wish them success, but Nokia can't have them. For any price. If they want to survive. Jolla will die in Nokia bureaucracy. Even today

Meltemi is dead too - people are fired and found new jobs.

What is left from old Nokia? WP8 and S40 + Navteq+Imaging. That's it.

Less then a half on what Elop bet in Feb. 11th

New CEO's won't change anything. Nokia still has one slim chance. To succeed with WP8 or die. That is it.

And please let Elop own it fully. One way or the other. They already interfered with OPK in the middle of stuff. And we are still arguing who's at falt for Nokia downfall.

If WP8 fails, it'll now be 200% Elop's fault

tired

@karlim

There's no if anymore.. wp is a failure. Even msft knows it. At best wp will maybe garner a foothold in the US. That's it.
Symbian in the form of Asha and Belle are still alive and well. The only thing the new CEO has to do is commit to it. As long as it's still owned by Nokia, there is a way back.
Bring back customer confidence in the brand, stop breaking promises to consumers as well as developers etc. Everyone and their grandmother knows that Nokia doesn't own wp, hence can't control it. Nokia fans by and large do not want/like wp (as demonstrated by lumia failure). So use what you have, what your clientele like/want and survive.
If your waiting for wp8 to save Nokia, by the time wp8 comes out and fails, Nokia will be dead and buried. wp8 has different OEMs, Nokia only has wp.. Village idiot of a ceo's fault.

Przemysławw Lib

@karlim
Symbian is profitable and on rise in China. Symbian is dead in mind of current CEO.
MeeGo is profitable and on hold. MeeGo is dead in mind and decisions of current CEO.
Meltemi is dead or on hold. Meltemi is dead in mind and decisions of current CEO.

Nokia have Android ready smartphone N9 which can be sold as soon as manufacturing and logistics are acquired.
Nokia have QWERTY ready smartphone N95 which can be sold as soon as manufacturing and logistics are acquired.

WinP8 will not succeed till early 2013 at best. That is there is no chance that WinP8 will be successful and profitable in firs Q of sales. And for being profitable Nokia MUST HAVE good relations with carriers. Exclusives will not do.

Even if next CEO will focus on WinP8 there are lots of things to clean up after current one. And there are still lots of options to check if are still valid. There is no way that Elop would be even thinking about possibility of releasing Android on the same hardware that is currently manufactured by Nokia.

Also this Open Letter is not full. This is to understand points and conclusions we would need to know what was talked about on this finish forum.

Anyone from knowing finish can give us gist of that talk ???

Spawn

@DA

> There is still money and resources within Nokia to turn the company into profits if Elop will be fired now.

Exactly. What Nokia needs most once new CEO and better sales, executives, etc. are in place are products in the market. We are talking here of a timepspan of just some months. This has a few implications.
- Nokia needs to focus.
- They cannot start something new or refresh something not ready yet. They need to pickup and optimize products and sells of what they have foremost.

They need to expand Asha and Pureview, S40 and Symbian, and sell more of them. They need to decrease the huge loses and there are only two ways which need to be applied in parallel.
- Increase and focus sells of what brings in the money. That are S40 and Symbian. No time now for long term stratgies.
- Cut anything that generates cost and is not direct related to bringing more money in short term. That means WP.

This are the short term actions. Long term they need to grow again and it may mean pick up more options.
They have MeeGo and its ready. Commit bare minimum to sell devices running that OS. Small steps forward from here.
Bring Android devices to the market long term and try to get some pieces back from Samsung.

Explanation:
Nokia STILL has knowledge and products in house. They have access to Accenture, Digia and other partners and did not abort everything yet.
The fastest way to stop shrinking, grow again is to turn what they have inhouse into products again. Sell devices, as more as better. Shrink that bleeding process and stop the downfall.
Only once that happened Nokia can focus again on a long term strategy like extending the STILL existing own ecosystem by enhancing it with another (e.g. Android compatibility and own customized Android devices).
Now is the wrong time to start or.continue ecosystem wars with an uncertain end. Now is the time to increase sells again and fix the cash burning.

NoNameRequired

A new, sane CEO would turn to Google, and ask them to do the same to whatever successor they have planned for the 808 as Google did to the Asus tablet that became the Nexus 7. In the space of two months, the Google-Asus joint skunkworks turned that tablet into a huge success, and the only current real challenger to the iPad. A joint Google-Nokia cooperation to produce a new camera-Nexus-mobile could shake the industry and revitalize Nokia in less than six months. It is possible, but would require a CEO with real guts who can be trusted by new partners, and the entire current board and probably most of the new management would have to be fired just to restore trust in the organization.

Spawn

@tired

> it will help Nokia's reputation in the short term.

That is what they need most right now. If the problems are not solved short term then there is no long term for Nokia.

> bringing back the old roadmap for OS that Nokia had.

That does not make sense any longer. The old roadmap was about extending the own ecosystem to multiple platforms.
Today, after Elop, the own ecosystem is near dead. The need to focus to keep it alive, grow to make enough profit and only then, WHEN they can survive, enhance.

First survive, second work on the future. In that order else they are dead.

> let wp die the slow death

Its generating lose. It needz to be aborted as soon as.possible so Nokia can recover, survive. If they keep that cash burner they are dead.

@Baron95

> The stock is doing great in the past few weeks.

Thanks to Asha, Pureview and the assumption Nokia will be bought or split. Nokia's stock was/is so low that the companies assets like patents are more worth then the shares. Naturlly the stock grows loser to reality if the market assumes the compan may be slaughtered and assets sold in pieces.

@tired

> outsource Meego harmattan dev to jolla mobile

Why should Jolla give up on there own product? Jolla Mobile is, as we know, near to be ready and its there product. No dependency to Nokia, no share of profits, no danger to sink with them or get aborted.if Nomia applies its monthly strategy change.

No, it would not make sense. Jolla Mobile has expertise, focus, a business plan, partners, investors and is healthy. Nokia not. Nokia has nothing to offer Jolla wdoes not have right now or will have soon.
Maybe when Nokia fixes its sales problems they have something from interest for Jolla: a huge sales channel. But till Nomia fixed there.problems they have nothing but problems to offer.

@Salim

> Nokia has a single chance to survive. WP success.

First even when WP8 succeeds it says nothing about Nokias share on the success.
Remind you that for example Samsung is offering WP8 mobiles too and as of today Samsung is doing everything right and Nokia everything wrong. That will very likely not be different with WP8.
Microsoft itself says that Samsung is there preferred WP8 mobile partner. Not Nokia. Nokia was WP7 and they failed. Microsoft likes WP8 to succeed and Nokia is not helping there. Nokia has to fight for surviving and cannot fully commit on WP8. Samsung can. Also its just a matter of time till Microsoft offers an onw WP8 mobile phone like they do with tablets now.

Second WP8 already failed in that the conditions are even morw difficult tgen with WP7, in that there are very less partners left and the Android and Apple competition did win the smartphone bloodbath already.
Microsoft had to do Surface cause they are riscing to have the same happen on tablets. Compared.to mobile there is room and Microsoft has the possibility, through the x86 variants, to bring its Windows desktop ecosystem and partners into the landscape. With Win8 RT they don't. With WP8 its even more worse and there are no investors, partners with focus on that platform, developers left.
Under that conditions I, as many other, doubt that WP8 can earn mich more market share then WP7 did. Very likely even less now that the conditions are so difficult and now that the main compitors did took over the battlefield.
Microsoft WP8 is a lost offer. Win8 RT on tablets is going to be the new.battlefield and.Microsoft puts all its focus there to not be.doomed.to a desktop only platform that is done over time when the attention shifts to other.forn factors.like tablets, fablets, lapblets (laptop like tablet like surface is a owrfect example of) and other hybrids.

As of now WP8 or the mobile smartphone world is just one of many fronts. Microsoft does not need to and does not fight on all fronts. They focus on Surface for now and put all they have into that. WP8 will get very lwss attention compared to Win8 and Win8 RT on hybrids.
Fight the battles you can win. Leave the battles you cannot win up to others. Hello Nokia. Sure do wr take your free.contributions and offers to fight out battles. Here some $. Thanks Nokia. RIP

Tomasz R.

The new smartphone processors Arm Cortex A15, that are going to be available on the market at the end of this year contains virtualization technology. This means they can run multiple operating systems at once. This way Nokia could keep Symbian as an OS that manages featurephone functions (voice calls, SMS, maps, battery management, ringtones, playing mp3 etc.), while having a second system that is optimized exclusively for running computing applications, limited to TCP/IP communications. This could be a winning combination.

Cyan

The problem is not "just" Stephen Elop,
above Nokia's CEO, there is Nokia's Board.

It is the Board which selected Elop, accepted its decisions and strategy, supported its blunders, and continue doing so even today. They will prefer to let Elop destroy Nokia entirely rather than admitting they made a fatal decision mistake, which would damage their miserable career.

So, how come Nokia's Board responsability is not even mentioned ?
If the Board is the sick part of Nokia, reponsible for Elop's free reign, it has to be fixed even before firing Elop.

Who are they, by the way ?
Who are its members, what are their personal agenda ?
Who, among them, are Microsoft agents, acting against the interests of Nokia ?
Is there a law in Finland which consider a deliberate harmful decision from within and against a finnish company as a sentenceable crime ?
As far as i know, a little employee with no or little power can be charged nad sentenced if it willfully does anything against the interest of its company. So how come a CEO or a Board member does not ?

aikoN

@Cyan
I guess that board of directors as we know it today is a bunch of people assigned by the largest Nokia shareholders. All of board members have their positions in different companies (like norwegian Statoil, L'Oreal, Procter&Gamble and so on).
http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/about-us/governance/board/meet-the-board/
Most likely none of them even uses nokia phones at all (I can guess that most of the board members are on iPhone).
Majority of them are new members from 2011/2012.
Their job is to meet up a couple of times to hear what Mr.Elop tells them and vote for what they were told. They don't have time to care about. They are probably members of other boards as well, so their time is golden. And they got paid for that too, well paid, I guess. And they don't care about Nokia at all. It's just business and nothing personal.
So, who set those people to the "board"?
well
It must be that hidden "big" (american?) shareholder(s), who probably have more interest in Microsoft part of their stock. Nokia is just a tool for them. Nokia is used to lift Microsoft Windows Phone up. No mater what outcome it gives for Nokia.

So Elop is actually doing a good job, damn good job, not for Nokia, but for someone else.

I remember he was asked why is he talks so much about Windows and almost nothing about Nokia, journalist was wondered why Mr. Elop sounds like he is working for Microsoft and not for Nokia.
Elop's answer was, - "I don't speak finnish". Do I need to say more?

vladkr

@Baron95 : NSN is the only profit making part of Nokia right now, so don't hurry getting rid of it.

About the stock, as it's pure speculative, it doesn't mean anything any more, it's just toy for brokers.

aikoN

@vladkr
Are you sure about the stock?
Minor shareholders have nothing to say, right.
But isn't it biggerst shareholders who decide over board and CEO?

Michael (Ex-Nokia employee)

I think a CEO from a carrier sounds sensible, but I would say a big carrier like Vodafone who used to be a Symbian partner, someone who knows the industry and someone that the other carriers will recognise.

As for strategy:

- Get rid of Elop, and Jo Harlow.

- Scrap the Windows phone program at the earliest sensible point, everywhere except possibly the USA (and perhaps there too, Tomi how do the figures look? Not great from what I recall of previous postings)

- Give Jolla free licence to Harmattan 6 including UI. (I presume seeing as Jolla came about from the Bridge program that Nokia already has a controlling steak so if it was successful in the future it could be brought back in to Nokia..?)

- Reinstate Nokia's future - (smart)feature phones - Meltiemi program. (If the staff have been made redundant, then get Dexia or Accenture to do it in the short term).

- Bring out some more copycat dual sim S40 products to capitalise on that work in India/Africa etc, whilst waiting for Meltiemi to be ready.

- Prepare transition for users S40->Meltemi.

In the short term, Nokia needs something to sell so.....

- Create a couple of really top end Android devices with good features (i.e. don't make it cheap (..N97, Bolt, etc)). Put in the pureview sensor in one of them (though not the flagship one as that's got to be Samsung GS3 levels of thickness). Also some mid range. (There is hopefully a skunkworks somewhere in Nokia that has android up and running somewhere?).

- Make it purely android jellybean, no skining. And give it an unlockable bootloader - the tech blogs (and consumers!) will lap it up.
- Make sure most of all that it's desirable and "Nokia".

- In the longer term, I don't know if meltemi is scalable to top end, but if it is then put the android vm on it and then the problem of the 'eco-system' is gone, for the time being..

- Team up with Adobe/Google/Mozilla to push HTML5 as the next app platform.

- Bring out a qwerty android

- Now, advertising - Did people see the Nokia N8 advert (was on British tv anyway) whereby a blind man was trying to convince us that the N8 takes great photos...!!!!!??! Fire the person/company that made that decision.

- Create some really simple, happy, advertising. Nokia has a lot of history and research in this area, I'm sure it can be resurrected.

- Create/Partner to create some next gen battery tech.


The only thing with this plan as I see it is that #1, Elop might not get fired. #2, it might take too long to get android up and running. #3, the agreement with MS may not allow some of this to happen.


Am sure there's other business considerations that I've not considered.

aikoN

Fork Nokia into 2 different Companies:

- Lumia as Microsoft OEM (Elop can keep his job)
- Asha as "the last real" Nokia.

- Sell NSN to Huawei

Titaniumc

Great article, concise and balanced.
Obviously Elop must be fired, the only strange think is that it wasn't already a year ago.
I think that a personality from the carriers community is much needed as a way to signal the intention to become again carrier frinedly rather than carrier ostile as Nokia actually is. But it don't necessarily must be the CEO, just someone able to influence the CEO decisions. Let's define him the Nokia strategist more than the CEO.

Concerning the strategy of Nokia it can only go forward. WP8 as an OS can survive but not as the strategy in the sense used by Elop, i.e. push WP8 at Nokia expenses but use WP8 in the measure it help Nokia (if in anyway it helps Nokia).

Then Nokia must be open to other options (like Samsung do): android and possible new OSes (new MeeGo licensed from JollaOS not anymore developed internally)

Nokia as to look at the next wave of innovation and from where it will come. I.e. new OSes coming from partnerships with Chinese Operators.

In short Nokia must be carrier friendly and OS agnostic

JD!

Why wait, send me the appointment letter... I can be perfect fit for Nokia, as I have no knowledge of leading a company, no knowledge of carrier functioning, No knowlege of Selling handsets.
I bet, I can still do better than Elop for saving Nokia!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati