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Elop's Tightrope at Nokia

There's a great in-depth profile today in Bloomberg Businessweek on Stephen Elop and the tightrope he's walking as the CEO of Nokia.

While the most newsworthy element is his adamant denial that there are any merger talks going on with Microsoft, the deeper story is the fundamental challenges Nokia faces in nearly all aspects of its business.

You thought Steve Ballmer's killing of the Kin and Courier were internally disruptive decisions that sent mixed signals to the market? Elop's move to ditch both Symbian and MeeGo in favor of Microsoft's unproven Windows Phone 7/Mango platform is a move that cost thousands of jobs and took a huge toll on company morale.

It was a bold move and Businessweek quotes Elop extensively to give him a chance to make a pretty strong case for the decision. (The article also disabused me of the notion I had that Elop left Microsoft for Nokia with a plan in the back of his mind to make the Windows Phone 7 deal.) The question is whether board members, shareholders and employees will stick by him, and let Nokia continue on the course that Elop has set.

The smartphone market is critically important to Microsoft's future, and no partner is more important to Microsoft's fortunes in that market right now than Nokia. For anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the company that Microsoft is pinning its hopes on, the Businessweek article is well worth a read.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 02, 2011 at 11:58 AM