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June 17, 2015

Comments

Paul

Finally! I have been waiting this already for too long!
I would say that ex-Nokia handset unit has no more than 12 months! 24 months is way too long for mobile market!

timple

No doubt he will be leaving with a very generous pay off to match the one he got when he sold Nokia to MS! Its heads I win tails you lose once you get to his exalted level!

Confused Star

Fricking Finally(tm). All this VP-level nonsense of not really firing but "forcing to resign" is deeply unsatisfying though. Security should have just showed up without warning, unplugged his computer and said "Give us your badge and your keycard, you're fired." And then perp-walk him out the main entrance with crowds watching and cheering on both sides.

Yeah, I can fantasize...

I wonder if his "resignation" email starts with "Hello there." Hope someone leaks it :P

cornelius

Elop certainly had the skills to kill Lumia. I was hoping he gets the chance to finish what he started.
Also Microsoft hinted at a massive write-down on the Nokia unit, now still valued at $5.46B

John A

Very interesting. We will see what direction Windows 10 Mobile will go. Will Microsoft continue or shut it down?
I guess the OS will live on small tablets (around 8" inch)in any event.

napier

Most incompetent CEO ever. About 4 years too late for Nokia sadly...
Good riddance

Francisco

So Mr Elop, how cold is the water out there? The water I mean you threw thousands of Nokians in while destroying the platform. Was it really burning so bad??? Not sure, but what I know is that you did not even touch the water surface, being well paid for something which CEOs are normally fired for. Good luck to all ex Nokia people in MSFT, not sure how long you will last. Good luck to the old (new?) Nokia, hopefully they will take back the name into the market. I have big respect for the Finnish "sisu" and hope to see them back soon. Bye bye Lumia, bye bye Windows Mobile OS.

TJ

Actually, I think Kaz Hirai would be candidate for worst CEO. One could argue that Xperia Z3 is the best smartphone (USA Today said it "may be" THE best last Dec). But no one can deny that it has the worst sales. Terrible marketing--actually, nonexistent marketing. Worse thing is, Sony keeps dropping major hints that it might shutter its mobile. Now why would anyone buy a phone from a company that doesn't believe in its own stuff? So, no surprise that it renamed the Z4 the Z3+, when with so many improvements, the name Z4 would be more appropriate (and more tasty from a marketing standpoint).

Blanco Papa

Satya has brought you a delightful present for Juhannus, it seems!

I have not agreed with everything you've written over the years here on Elop (far from, in fact) but this, I agree with every word. I will note, that I am also happy to see other certain departures, notably Jo Harlow, whose failure to produce at the flagship level last holiday probably put the final nail in the Lumia/Elop coffin.

The boat is flooding and the rats are all swimming towards shore. Good riddance!

Spawn

The clown, the "call me the General Failure", gone! Now thats a huge lose for whoever he joins next.

Or as Satya wrote in his letter letter ( http://news.microsoft.com/2015/06/17/satya-nadella-email-to-employees-on-aligning-engineering-to-strategy/ ):

"Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft.
[...]
[I] look forward to seeing where his next destination will be."

:-)

PeterH

"What company will Stephen Elop steal for Microsoft next?
Trojan Horse, King of Thieves"
http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/17/8796465/grand-theft-elop

NokiaFun

The fun continues. Nokia makes an agreement to pay Elop $25 million if he turns out to be so bad that they fire him. And then they don't fire him after he announces to the whole world that Nokia products are terrible, but in a year new and better ones will arrive. They don't fire him when he abandons both the existing and future state platforms and bets the company on an unproven OS from a proven nasty company. No...they let Elop run them into the ground, then sell themselves to Msft and give Elop $25 million for the privilege. Those hilarious Finn's.

You think Msft was stupid enough to bring Elop back on board with a golden parachute clause? No. They just accepted him back while they tried to salvage what they could of they mobile future, and fired him at their convenience. Without letting him do any damage or make any decisions. Why do you think there has been no marquee/hero Windows Phone for more than a year? It's all about Windows 10 and the future state....and selling WP cheap in the mean time while other pieces of the puzzle are put in place.

BTW, Lumia was not mentioned, but neither was Surface or Xbox or any other hardware device bound "the devices group". Reading anything about future hardware plans into this statement just isn't warranted. Msft is doing what Samsung is doing....which is what Apple is doing. Trying to own the entire experience from hardware to OS to services. Putting Windows and Devices group together under one executive is a means to that end.

Who knows what that future will be. But today we can rejoice that the guy the Finn's couldn't see reason to fire despite him trashing their company....was finally fired. Just don't mention to them that it's was done without paying $25million for the privilege.

Spawn

@Confused Star

> I wonder if his "resignation" email starts with "Hello there."

Hello there,

I woke up one day from a loud explosion, which suddenly set my entire Executive@Microsoft-platform on fire. As reality approached me, I had mere seconds to react. Satya (and I) decided I had to jump. It was unexpected.
In ordinary circumstances, I would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times – my platform was on fire and my CEO (and I) decided I had to jump.

I may survive the fall and the waters. I may rescued by some strange company offering me a new job. This causes a radical change in my behaviour since I am not Executive@Microsoft any longer.

Lumia, the platform is burning, I am on fire, I got fired.

I am working on a path forward — a path to rebuild my leadership. When I share the new strategy soon, it will be a huge effort to transform into the new role. But, I believe that I can face the challenges ahead of me. I can choose to define my new future. Together, the huge inventory of Lumia-devices and myself, we can choose to define our new future now.

The burning platform, upon which I found himself, caused me to shift my behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain employment future as was decided by my CEO (and me). I am still able to tell my story!

Stephen.

Tomi T Ahonen

Spawn that is priceless! I just Tweeted the notice to my followers to come read your letter. Brilliant!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Eduardo M

Why does it seem almost certain that Microsoft will shut down Lumia and Windows Phone pretty soon?

To start Microsoft is a corporation, and corporations are in business to make money. However, different corporations use different strategies to do that. For Microsoft, the main strategy has been to sell licenses to its operating system and also to the software it makes and that runs only on Windows. More recently web services have been added in.

The idea with Microsoft Phone was to follow that traditional strategy. Users would buy hundreds of million of smart phones with the os and the software loaded, and sign up for the services, and Microsoft would enjoy huge profits.

However, the plan was a failure. Android came along and gave away its os, software and services, so Microsoft was forced to slash its licence fees. And sales were so low that Microsoft was getting very little income. It got so bad that Microsoft is now porting its software over to Android (if you have faith that a product could succeed, you don't voluntarily give away one of its main competitive advantages).

The result is Microsoft has no way to make any money from Windows Phone, and no realistic prospects it ever will. Ballmer, couldn't admit this as it was his baby. However Nadella is not emotionally committed to it, and so we can expect he will give it the axe pretty soon.

RWD

Tomi, I have been reading your blog for a few years now, and I enjoy it immensely. I do it in part out of schadenfreude (I love how you beat the crap out of Microsoft in general, and Elop, in particular) but also because it is the best source of information about what is going on in the mobile world and, more importantly, what is likely to happen in the near future, for your forecasts tend to be spot on. Kudos to you.

Now would it be too much to ask you please NOT to remind us, not once, but several times, in each article, how good your forecasts are? It gets annoying after a while, it negatively contributes to the length of your articles, without adding any useful information, and, quite frankly, it makes one think that perhaps you are not so sure about your forecasts yourself. Please do away with that weakness, but carry on writing up excellent articles.

Tester

@Eduardo M:

"The result is Microsoft has no way to make any money from Windows Phone, and no realistic prospects it ever will. Ballmer, couldn't admit this as it was his baby. However Nadella is not emotionally committed to it, and so we can expect he will give it the axe pretty soon. "

Sure he will. But of course it all has to be done while saving face. Outright admitting that WP tanked is an impossibility.
The current merging of divisions is an obvious first step. Nothing gets cancelled, the action is hidden in some 'restructuring'.
Now that there is no more mobile division to be closed it will be a lot easier to gradually phase the deficient phone business out because it doesn't have to be done under the scrutiny of the public eye.

Eduardo M

@Tester:

I think you're probably right. Nadella is such a bright and clear-headed fellow that he probably already sees WP is hopeless, and he just following what he sees is the best path for getting rid of it.

Winter

@Boron95
To teh moon!

Catriona

@Baron95, I do think it's a clear sign that Microsoft is de-emphasizing being in the phone business itself. They'll continue making Windows 10 Mobile, but might gradually discontinue or sell off the Lumia phone business.

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    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

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