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New CEO to shake up underperforming Nokia

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 Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO 12th September 2010

In a dramatic move, just before next week's Nokia World event, Nokia have announced a new CEO - Stephen Elop.

Mr Elop is the first non-Finnish CEO of Nokia. A Canadian by nationality, his recent experience includes a stint at Microsoft and earlier at Juniper Networks and Macromedia.

Said to be a capable change manager, Elop's role will be to transform Nokia's fortunes, especially when it comes to the bitter fight for market share with high-end smartphones. It's too early to say that sort of changes might be coming up, but it likely that Elop will want to cut through Nokia's bureaucracy to bring products to market faster.

Ultimately, Nokia needs to rebalance engineering, customer research, industrial design and its internal business process. Nokia certainly has the talent to give rivals a run for their money, but at the moment the company is suffering at the hands of Apple, RIM and Google.

Stephen Elop's Microsoft connections do perhaps open up the possibility that Nokia might sign up to Windows Phone 7. It's not as outlandish an idea as you might thing - Nokia and Microsoft have been working closely together to integrate Microsoft Exchange with Nokia phones, and for Nokia the risk/reward balance looks like it might be worth a go.

Whatever approach Mr Elop takes, this is going to be a tough ride. But ultimately, all consumers will benefit from increased competition if Nokia manages to turn itself into the company that it really should be.

 

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