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July 06, 2012



Hi Tommy,

Wow, this one was quite hard to swallow.

You compared Elop to Duhanov, and somewhere further, that Elop is not Hitler...

Well, I'll take the responsibility to compare Elop with Stalin.

- Stalin was a former hooligan who miraculously reached the head of the biggest country in the world.
- Elop, who has several companies in his hunt bag (Boston Chicken, Macromedia, Juniper...) and miraculously reached the head of the biggest cellphone manufacturer

- Stalin deported, executed many people, including heroes, including people who were very productive for the country just because he was paranoid...
- Elop fired most Nokia's workforce, including factory workers, and its best engineers, keeping the least productive ones (marketing) because these talents risked to shadow Windows Phone

- Stalin created a horrid atmosphere in the country... people used to be suspicious each of others
- Same thing at Nokia

- Stalin, like many communist dictators used to lie a lot
- So does Elop (and Risto Siilasmaa to mention those two only)

- Elop ruined Nokia
- Stalin didn't manage to ruin Soviet Union, despite his tries

There is also something shocking to me:
When a cashier at a supermarket makes a mistake - giving back 2 euros instead of one for instance - (s)he has to pay for the mistake, the difference being withdrawn from the salary. After several mistakes, cashier would be fired.

Elop cost billions of Euros to Nokia (and to Finland, to Romania, Germany... in taxes), but still is paid millions a year (I remind you that Steve Jobs used to have a $1/year salary, his revenue being mainly made of stock performances)

Isn't there a problem of ethics as well?


A stingingly harsh criticism, and one I completely agree with. I would make one point. Regardless of any one of the (valid) grievances listed, Nokia's market share, and share price have fallen off a cliff under elop. Simply for those 2 reasons he needs to be fired. The board is likewise to be let go for allowing this to happen. As you point out. They have both failed in their duties as company managers.


Apologies for a second post so quickly, but I forgot to thank you for discussing the active campaign by MS to rid the world of a valid linux alternative (meego). I fully believe this was elops real role at Nokia. His actions as CEO prove it. Either that or as you point out, he's the dumbest CEO in history. Neither one qualify him to be still employed.


Thank you. That was a very interesting article. Actually, the best thing I ever have read regarding the fall of Nokia.

One thing that also could be noted: I work for a company with 40 000 employees. For years Nokia has been the number one supplier of business phones to us. Providing real quality phones - second to none. Loved by users. Loved by IT department. Loved by finance (because of 24 months replacement cycle). Loved by everyone.

But not anymore. This whole windows phone 7 situation has now finally booted Nokia out. Totally gone from our company. Replaced by: Samsung and Motorola (the water-resistant DEFY-model are bought for our field technicians).

Leading Analyst

Saying Maemo 6 (no, Nokia never released a Meego based device) is fast and WP is sluggish is just bullshit. WP runs quite smooth even on the Lumia 610 hardware that has very low specs.


Excellent article, as always, as expected by the most listen voice in the net.

One little mistake, Apple does not pay 12$ to Nokia per iPhone, but less then the half of it.

Nokia stated that they expect to get half billion a year in IPR
Looking carefully Nokia balances, you will not find much more then 150m euro per quarter under the messed up IPR voice



Ben Daglish




ROFLMAO !!!!!! x 1000 000 000 000 !!!

Christian Surlykke

This interview: was widely quoted because Nokia's new chairman for the first time spoke of a plan B.

What caught my attention though, was the lukewarm praise Siilasmaa had for Elop:

'He came in at a tough time,” Siilasmaa said, adding that Elop’s management style had been "good and transparent."'

Considering that the board chairman *has* to back the ceo right up to the point where he fires him, Siilasmaa could hardly praise Elop less than this.

Maybe a small sign that Elop won't be hanging around too long.



Long blog - may be biased, but it is comprehensive. A lot is rehash, and I'm not disagreeing with the fact that Elop's tenure has been disastrous. I'm, though, in disagreement as to the reasons and the fix.

Lets address one item - Tomi: "But just lets all be very clear. Apart from the iPhone, what other American smartphone maker is producing hit smartphones now? Hmmmm.. Did you remember Motorola? Yeah, they went bankrupt."

First, Apple (iPhone), Google (Nexus), Motorola (Razr Android Family) are all producing hit phones.

Second, Apple, Android, Microsoft have the #1, #2, #3 mobile OS ecosystems measured by number of apps and number of developers and number of new apps/month.

Third, Motorola never went bankrupt, they were acquired with an 80% price per share premium and continue to operate as an independent Google business unit. Just like YouTube. Did YouTube go bankrupt too? VW is acquiring Porsche with virtually no share premium. Are you going to claim that Porsche went bankrupt next month when the acquisition closes?

Fourth, the Japanese handset makers are faring horribly in the smartphone battle. NEC, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Sony are having horrible losses. NFC and Pico Projectors and all that are nice curiosities, but can't make them internationally competitive.

But all of the above is not important. What is important is that mobile phones became mobile computers. And mobile computers need SW and Internet/Cloud Serviecs and developer ecosystems to succeed. And like it or not, SW and developer ecosystems and internet/cloud services have a very clear and distinct culture and epicenter. And it is the US West Coast.

The fact that there are 1,000 Nokian's now working in Silicon Valley may be Elop's best contribution to Nokia.

I can guarantee you, that if Symbian was being developed in Silicon Valley instead of Finland, it would have never been allowed to fall that far behind iOS and Android. And if Maemo/Meego was being developed by Apple or Google it would not have lingered for years before hitting the market.

Again, not defending Elop's record - my only interest is calling the Nokia bottom and determining when an acquisition may take place to invest in the stock. But, it was not all negative. Having more design in Silicon Valley is critical for Nokia and RIM and Sony and Moto and Samsung and HTC. Anyone that wants to be a top player in mobile OS, mobile ecosystems, and mobile computers.



I think the comparison with Stalin ultimately doesn't work, because what Stalin did at least made some sort of perverted sense and although at unimaginable human suffering he still produced some notable successes. He was able to retain power all along, the country underwent rapid industrialization, defeated germany and catapulted itself into superpower status.

With Elop it's disaster from the start to the end with no big success, even at unnecessary high cost, in sight.


Ninvestor is one of the only remaining voices of reason on this site (since Baron95 has apparently left). Mobile phones are a sideshow today in much the same way as wristwatches are in timekeeping. The only players of importance in the market they once occupied are the handheld computers. Only computer companies can successfully play, all others are doomed. Nokia never was a computer company. End of story. Whatever Elop did or did not do may have mattered in the near term (24 months), but matters not a whit in Nokia's eventual outcome as an independent successful company.



You wear a purple sleeveless shirt and a white jacket ? Come one, what you say about Silicon Valley was true in the 80s, but considering Silicon Valley as SW development's heart today is focusing on the visible part of the iceberg.

Windows would be nothing without all the Asian companies developing hardware and drivers.
Where are located major game development companies ?
Who is the leader in CAD ?
What countries lead real-time programming designs ?
What companies lead data security ?

Software is all that and more, not just Apple, Google and Microsoft.


I just do not get it what the hell those major Nokia shareholders are thinking?! How low the share price has to go before they react?! Are they that stupid? Last three months especially could only be described as total collapse of the share price.

If one bought Nokia shares in year 2008 for about 25 euros then he has lost 95 percent of his portfolio. If one bought early last year then he has lost whopping 80 percent fast&furiously.


The gist that Elop is a Flop is correct, but Der Stern has the following to say about the N9:

"Wem Individualismus über alles geht und Apps nicht so wichtig sind, sollte sich das Gerät definitiv anschauen - zum Beispiel beim nächsten Urlaub in Österreich oder der Schweiz, wo es offiziell erhältlich ist. "

This is not a recommendation that normal people run across the border and buy it.


"Third, Motorola never went bankrupt, they were acquired with an 80% price per share premium and continue to operate as an independent Google business unit. Just like YouTube. Did YouTube go bankrupt too? VW is acquiring Porsche with virtually no share premium. Are you going to claim that Porsche went bankrupt next month when the acquisition closes?"

So you think MM was "successful"? They lost money almost every quarter for the last two years. They weren't dead but they sure smelled funny.

Local Guy

Beautiful writing Tomi-- it is true-- but more than that it is a work of art and I loved the Sun Tzu quotes, please keep it up.

My best compliments and kind regards...

Stephen Reed

This is a great post. It is sadly interesting to watch what Elop is doing to Nokia. It is as though Elop is Microsoft's evil puppet.

I am thinking more and more about the patent royalties that Apple pays to Nokia. At some point, Apple should just buy those patents, or buy whatever part of Nokia that owns those patents.


@Vladkr - Fair comment. But I think I was quite specific that I was referring to mobile computing OS, ecosystem and Internet/Cloud consumer services. That is the area of the market that is "fast moving" and requires "internet speed innovation".

You can't compare that to say CAD/CAM where, yes, Dassault is a leader or Enterprise SW where SAP is a leader. That is like comparing the builder of electric powerplants with the makers of consumer electronic devices. They both involve electricity, but are rather different.

And that is what you saw. In the beginning of mobile phones, the network and signaling and radios were the key competencies. That is why the leaders in handset were the same companies building the networks. Motorola, Siemens, Ericsson, Nokia, NED, Fujitsu, Alcatel, etc. Those were the brand name handsets of the 80s and 90s. All network builders.

Then something funny happened - iPhone with a "phone" that was, as Tomi loves to point out, a lousy phone, but a great interactive Internet computer. Then something crazy happened. All the "Network" leaders laughed at it. Except that Google, didn't, and they mastered all their resources to be a fast follower. Then something crazy happened. Nokia and RIM and Palm and NEC and Fujitsu laughed at Apple and Google again. Except that Samsung, HTC, Moto jumped on it and left Nokia and RIM and NEC and Fujitsu behind.

And that brings us to 2012. Where Sharp, NEC, Sony capitulated to Google. Nokia capitulated to Microsoft and RIM is like the French, looking for anyone who will take their surrender.

The US West Coast sucks and California is nearly bankrupt. But they are really good about doing a few things well. Movies and consumer SW and Internet Services. Just like Antwerp is really good with diamonds and Milan is really good with fashion Rio is very good with bikinis and Colombia is really good with cocaine. It is just how it is.

I wouldn't buy a bikini in Antwerp for my gf and I wouldn't go to Colombia to buy mobile OS SW. Simple as that.


@KDT - Yes, MMI was extremely successful for their investors (myself included), in the past 2 years, with an 80% return on investment. Right up there with Apple.

In the meantime, RIM lost 95%, Nokia 90%, Palm nearly 100%, HTC 50%, and so on.

So yes. MMI, under Sanjay Jha, was very successful indeed. They moved fast to Android and to the high end. The spin off the bad assets (including dumping the network division onto Nokia), became lean and mean to be a great acquisition target, and reward investors with a stock price increase of 80%.

By what measure do you think MMI was not successful in the past 2 years?



My translation:

"If you hold individualism above all and don't care too much about apps, you should definitely take a look at this device, for example at the next vacation in Austria or Switzerland, where it is sold officially."

They also write:

"This is one of the best devices ever brought to market by the Finns."

And after explaining that Meego has been sidelined by Elop:

"What a pity! Meego is a lot of fun, as much attention to detail as iOS from Apple and at least as intuitively to use."

Before I bought my N9 I read a lot of reviews. Almost all have been extremely positive, but usually were
cautious about recommending to buy it, because Meego had already been abandoned by Nokia at that time.
Most reviews expressed disappointment or even disbelief about this fact.

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