Does Nokia Need a New CEO?
Jul 5th 2012 7:20PM
Updated Jul 5th 2012 7:22PM
Stephen Elop's days at Nokia (NYS: NOK) may be numbered.
Shares of the once iconic handset maker hit another multi-year low today. Elop -- brought in two years ago to save the company as its first CEO who wasn't born in Finland -- hasn't helped.
Investors probably figured that things couldn't get any worse for Nokia when Elop came in 21 months ago. The stock was at $8.60, and bringing on the former Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) exec to shake things up seemed like one way to get the stock back into the double digits.
Well, we all know how that played out. Elop may have been correct in jumping off the "burning platform" that Symbian had become but, instead of joining rival handset makers to rally behind Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android, he went back to his former company to strike a deal to champion Microsoft's mobile operating system.
Elop argued at the time that Nokia would be paid "billions" to back Windows Phone, but these sums haven't shown up in the company's dwindling quarterly financials.
If anything, going with the obscure Windows Phone in a world dominated by Android and Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iOS has been disastrous. It certainly didn't help when Microsoft recently revealed that the upcoming Windows 8 update won't be compatible with earlier phones. If Nokia was having problems pushing its Lumia handsets before, now it faces enlightened consumers who will wait for the new devices.
Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) may be the only major smartphone company in a sorrier state, but it recently replaced its co-CEOs. You're next, Nokia.
What can Elop do? The stock has shed more than three-fourths of its value since he took over. He took Nokia from a burning platform to one that has grown ice cold.
"I think that Elop will have to go, but I also think that the board also needs to be renewed with people who have an understanding and working knowledge of the mobile industry," Silicon Valley vet Jean-Louis Gassée says in an exclusive interview with Computing.
He's right. He's only saying what everyone else has been thinking.
There's no denying that the next trillion dollar revolution will be in mobile. And that's not just lip service, it's the name of a free special report that you can check out now. However, no one seems to be inviting Nokia to the revolution.
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