Microsoft Office boss jumps ship to become Nokia CEO

Microsoft has lost its second executive in less than six months.

Stephen Elop, part of Microsoft's senior leadership team, is departing the company after joining in January 2008. During his brief time at the company he lead Microsoft's Business Division, responsible for products like Office 2010. Prior to Microsoft, Elop was Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Juniper Networks, and held various positions at both Macromedia and Adobe.

In an email to workers, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wished Elop good luck for his new role. "I am writing to let you know that Stephen Elop has been offered and has accepted the job as CEO of Nokia and will be leaving Microsoft, effective immediately. Stephen leaves in place a strong business and technical leadership team, including Chris Capossela, Kurt DelBene, Amy Hood and Kirill Tatarinov, all of whom will report to me for the interim."

Elop's departure is the second high level move in less than six months. In May this year the company announced the exit of Robbie Bach, head of the Entertainment and Devices division. Elop's move to Nokia comes at a time when the mobile manufacturer is struggling to stay relevant against stiff competition from Apple's iPhone devices, Google's Android OS and Research in Motion's successfully BlackBerry range. Nokia's share price has dropped almost 40% from a year ago.

Elop made a brief remark on his departure from Microsoft in a statement issued to the media on Friday: "I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry...the company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers."

Image Credit: Microsoft ©

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27 Comments

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"Jump ship"? Assuming this guy doesn't have any grudges against MS and retains close ties with his former company/colleagues, MS will possibly get great results out of this. (Nokia WP7 phones, anyone?)

Chun.Yin said,
"Jump ship"? Assuming this guy doesn't have any grudges against MS and retains close ties with his former company/colleagues, MS will possibly get great results out of this. (Nokia WP7 phones, anyone?)

No thanks, I want the same attetention to detail that win7 had, put into Symbian^4! and thats all it needs some lovin!

Faisal Islam said,
lolz..soh.....Nokia will kill symbian?? i hope so....

after they reinvent it as Symbian ^3

I have lost all faith in HTC. They are so busy making new mobile phones they tend to forget the ones they have already made. Which makes their support of old (and by old I mean devices older than 4 months) devices almost nonexistent. No more HTC phones for me. I think I will try the N8 or a W7 phone this time around.
I currently have the following phones ... Sony X10 mini, HTC Hero and HTC HD2 (If it wasn't for XDA Developers the HD2 would have seen no development / updates at all ).

Well to be fair the HD2 was always going to be a dead end given MS themselves were moving towards WM7. The HD2, or any other of the newer WM6.5 devices, weren't unit's I'd have bought expecting much in terms of updates from.

Really, the only phones worth looking at for the "usual user" these days are Blackberry, iPhone, Samsung, LG and HTC.
Nokia were great in the 90's and 00's but their pioneering into new phones simply isn't that great. To me it seems like they bring out the same old horse with a new saddle or something similar, nothing really like a donkey or a goat like other companies.

Mr Spoon said,
Really, the only phones worth looking at for the "usual user" these days are Blackberry, iPhone, Samsung, LG and HTC.

Blackberry, iPhone and HTC for the "usual user"?

Those phones are for "high end users"

I hate when articles like this make a person out as the sole reason a product exists. "Responsible for Office 2010". as if it had nothing to do with the dozens of developers and various middle-management and department heads. Not to mention metrics from actual office users.

RaidenX said,
I hate when articles like this make a person out as the sole reason a product exists. "Responsible for Office 2010". as if it had nothing to do with the dozens of developers and various middle-management and department heads. Not to mention metrics from actual office users.

You'd be pretty stupid to think it was down to one guy...! Besides, learn to read - it says "he lead Microsoft's Business Division, responsible for products like Office 2010" that's the business division responsible for Office 2010 not Elop directly... jeeze.

Tom W said,

You'd be pretty stupid to think it was down to one guy...! Besides, learn to read - it says "he lead Microsoft's Business Division, responsible for products like Office 2010" that's the business division responsible for Office 2010 not Elop directly... jeeze.

Yeah, you kick that user's ass!

Tom W said,

You'd be pretty stupid to think it was down to one guy...! Besides, learn to read - it says "he lead Microsoft's Business Division, responsible for products like Office 2010" that's the business division responsible for Office 2010 not Elop directly... jeeze.

I hear a can opening...

... a can of whup-ass!!!

RaidenX said,
I hate when articles like this make a person out as the sole reason a product exists. "Responsible for Office 2010". as if it had nothing to do with the dozens of developers and various middle-management and department heads. Not to mention metrics from actual office users.

But in the end, wasn't he who got the big bonus check?

and here it comes the new W series from Nokia now with Windows Phone 7
this will make an awesome mobile platform in the best mobile hardware = pawn everything else out there

Panagiotis G. said,
and here it comes the new W series from Nokia now with Windows Phone 7
this will make an awesome mobile platform in the best mobile hardware = pawn everything else out there

I very much doubt you will see a sudden change in the meego/symbiam partnership, what you should see is the proper execution of ovi - (please rename it) and the proper feel and use from both platforms.

I very much doubt you will see wp7 or android on Nokia - ever!. Android is great for the 3rd tier phone makers: acer, htc (yes u heard that right), motorola etc. And its great say for x brand to jump on the mobile phone/tablet brand.

But both meego and symbiam offer open source for different markets. But Nokia doesn't know how to prompt either platform well ..

Northgrove said,
Good luck for him in repairing that ship's tattered sails.

Nokia is doing quite well, they make their money selling cheap phones just like they have always done. Though it would be nice to get them going on the smartphone market in the US too.

Share price is only an indicator of Trend and Confidence. That said nokia's once dominant market share could only decrease. Really it is Motrola that one really has to worry about.

macel said,

Nokia is doing quite well, they make their money selling cheap phones just like they have always done. Though it would be nice to get them going on the smartphone market in the US too.

Nokia's problem is the percentage of people wanting cheap phones is going down.

thealexweb said,

Nokia's problem is the percentage of people wanting cheap phones is going down.

Well, Nokia also is number one in the telecom network hardware sales around the world, and recently acquired Motorola's network division, strenghtening their position in NA...And this is not mentioning the money they make from royalties on telecom patents.

thealexweb said,

Nokia's problem is the percentage of people wanting cheap phones is going down.


That I am afraid will never happen as people see cheap and/or free and will go