Elop wasn't first choice for Nokia CEO

18 Oct 2013

Things could have been so different for Nokia, if its first choice of a new chief executive in 2010 had taken the job.

In a biography published this week, the vendor’s former chairman and chief, Jorma Ollila, claims Stephen Elop was its second choice to replace him at the helm. Ollila doesn’t name the firm’s preferred replacement, stating only that it was a 50-something executive from a leading US tech firm.

Ollila also says it was a mistake to switch to Microsoft software, in a separate interview with Finnish press, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The revelation may put paid to the conspiracy theory that Elop – a former Microsoft executive – deliberately guided the firm towards a sale to the US software giant at a bargain price.

On the flip side, rumors Elop is now in the running to replace Microsoft’s current chief, Steve Ballmer, may reinforce the notion. If he gets the job, it would suggest the destruction of Nokia’s market value during his tenure was, indeed, deliberate – designed to ensure Microsoft paid the least amount possible for the vendor.

If the value fell despite Elop’s best efforts, however, you’d have to worry for the future of Bill Gates’ baby.

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