Nokia CEO admits to some mistakes; chairman defends him

Nokia has not had the best month. In June, the smartphone company announced it would cut 10,000 more jobs. Owners of the Lumia 900, which launched just two months ago, also found out in June they would not get an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 but a rep for Nokia said at the time that the company was doing "more than enough" to support the current Lumia lineup.

Today, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop admitted in a new interview that perhaps the company has made some mistakes since he started at the company. The Economic Times reports that in a chat with the Finnish national daily Aamuleht, he said, "We had moments in the past year and a half when we could have done some things differently had we known that the industry was changing so rapidly."

One issue he mentions was the rapid decrease in prices for Android smartphones in China. Elop stated, "It happened so fast that Nokia's situation has now become difficult, but we keep honing our strategy."

However, Elop has at least one cheerleader behind him. Reuters reports that Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa, speaking to Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, said, "Thanks to Stephen Elop and others, we have been able to get new phones with new operating systems faster into the market than ever before."

Nokia is one of four hardware partners who will launch new smartphones with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 later this fall.

Source: Economic Times website

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End Employment Expo. that's the 3E show nokia and rim are starting soon on their own. expect more companies to show their interest.

People should be looking at the previous Nokia CEO and point your fingers there. Elop was made captain of a sinking ship. This path was inevitable, maybe Windows 8 can help. We'll see.

Nokia with android? If they decided it in 2008... when Elop arrived was just too late to push a nokiadroid phone. They had to push Meego. Android doesn't guarantee success... only samsung is doing fine but the others are now suffering too (see LG, Sony, Motorola ect...).

fenderMarky said,
Nokia with android? If they decided it in 2008... when Elop arrived was just too late to push a nokiadroid phone. They had to push Meego. Android doesn't guarantee success... only samsung is doing fine but the others are now suffering too (see LG, Sony, Motorola ect...).


Everyone knows why LG is doing poorly. LG makes some of the most poorly constructed phones (both HW wise and SW wise) on the market. Sony...well come on it's Sony..no one likes them anyway, and moto's only problem was crappy software and locked bootloaders. Both are fixable, especially now with their new owners.

Also you forgot HTC. They're doing pretty good as well.

I agree, he is no CEO material and his actions have shown it.

I wouldn't be surprised if he goes down in history as the worst CEO in any company, ever.

bidz said,
Stephen Elop is a mistake, atleast for Nokia.

Nokia was already going down, when Elop took charge, he just tried and keeps trying to keep the company, is was innebitable, it was gonna happen and he had the Balls to change the gameplay of nokia cause it was obsolete, with windows phone it has changed a lot how they think and develop, windows phone was the right choice, cause everyone that carries one has the pride to say i have a nokia windows phone and i love it!...... people are still with doubts, and that is normal, but with the new WP7.8 and WP8 it will make a huge difference in advantages compared to the iOS witch is getting old and kind of the same things, and android that is just terrible in quality terms.

Miuku. said,

I wouldn't be surprised if he goes down in history as the worst CEO in any company, ever.

I know, he's so much worse than the CEO of Enron... /s

Of course he's not stupid in the slightest - he had the mind to ditch Symbian in the first place, his "Burning Platform" speech was probably one of the best things to happen to Nokia

You mean one of the stupidest, most short sighted speeches done by any CEO that dropped the value of the company to a mere fraction and might in the end destroy it completely? Sure, great speech that.

He's been voted the worst CEO of any company EVER over here and his track record so far puts him at that spot as well.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,
Glad to know he is not completely stupid. Shame really. Nokia would have made some really nice Android Phones.

I don't think people would by android phones from Nokia...not when there's the galaxy line from samsung to beat. Nokia isn't interested in making the thinnest and fastest phones, they're interested in making the best possible bang-for buck.

FalseAgent said,

I don't think people would by android phones from Nokia...not when there's the galaxy line from samsung to beat.

Maybe not now, but a year o two ago they still had the brand recognition going for them. Owners of previous Nokia phones would likely have bought whatever they released as long as it was somewhat appealing.

Now that they have announced the deprecation of three of their platforms in a row (Symbian, Maemo and WP7) I'm not sure how much confidence customers could have on them, no matter what they ship.

ichi said,

Maybe not now, but a year o two ago they still had the brand recognition going for them. Owners of previous Nokia phones would likely have bought whatever they released as long as it was somewhat appealing.

Now that they have announced the deprecation of three of their platforms in a row (Symbian, Maemo and WP7) I'm not sure how much confidence customers could have on them, no matter what they ship.

^This

Samsung was garbage two years ago. Now they are great. Nokia wasn't garbage two years ago, now they are.

~Johnny said,
Of course he's not stupid in the slightest - he had the mind to ditch Symbian in the first place, his "Burning Platform" speech was probably one of the best things to happen to Nokia

Throwing a "burning platform" speech when you won't be releasing anything else for months (and when what they'd be releasing had a long way to catch up with competitors) doesn't sound that smart to me.

Why the hell would you rise a big "don't buy our current products" sign when you don't have anything else to sell yet? The only outcome of the speech has been a huge devaluation of Nokia's shares and a desperate clinging to WP as a last resort.

Maybe he did it in good faith out of his confidence in WP, but it was a big mistake.

simplezz said,
Countdown to a Nokia takeover...

And when that happens, the first thing the new owner will do is fire Stephen Elop.

Your argument was so well put that it blew my mind

simplezz said,
Countdown to a Nokia takeover...

And when that happens, the first thing the new owner will do is fire Stephen Elop.

Microsoft could wait for them to be worth even less, absorb them and release "Surface Phones".

Can always add andy to their smartphone portfolio now to start getting some sales. Better to put Nokia's survival as a company first than stay hitched to the slow moving Microsoft who have billions to fall back on while Nokia struggles.

efjay said,
Can always add andy to their smartphone portfolio now to start getting some sales.

How would adding even more Androids to the already oversaturated market generate sales? It's not an Android bash, but it's already cutthroat as it is, I doubt getting lost in the crowd is going to do them any favors.. if you're wanting to make sales, "let's make the exact same thing as everybody else!" typically isn't the best idea.

efjay said,
Can always add andy to their smartphone portfolio now to start getting some sales. Better to put Nokia's survival as a company first than stay hitched to the slow moving Microsoft who have billions to fall back on while Nokia struggles.

Not all android makers are profitable. Just having an Android phone doesn't equal profits.

Thats true, however Nokia get it right with hardware. I believe they could easily have phones competing with the top Samsung and HTC phones. It would be big news if Nokia did an Android and would appeal to a much larger market.

ryuh3d said,

Not all android makers are profitable. Just having an Android phone doesn't equal profits.

Here here, people hone in on success and forget failure, they need to remember Nokia had Simbian and that was going no where. When it comes to android - its quite clever - as people in general don't know its android (nor do they know what android is) - now before you call me on that, you little fan boy - I'm not having a go, I'm simply saying that people in GENERAL, not techy folk (believe it or not, non techy folk are the vast majority) - so when people flock to the Galaxy or HTC one, its purely on spec (they're used to walking into a PC world (Im in UK) or where ever, and being bamboozled with spec. On top of that, the phones (especially the new galaxy) are nice devices, you simply cant deny that (no matter what your favourite OS is).

Anyway I digress.............In no way should Nokia budge from their current WP stance, it is and will and always was known it wil take a while to turn peoples minds - its not an easy job to convince none techy people, even if your offering is an easier to use device.

The main problem is fashion here, not as most are talking about specs (this has some effect, if a use walks in bamboozled by specs along WP fails - they use it and its different). The fashion aspect is a hard one to turn, and it takes time in an market like this I feel.

The new stack/core whatever in WP8, sharing it with the main family, with more announcements to share will be a big win, sorry is a big win, and already I'm blown away with the consistent 'plugin - hub' app style nature that new WP8 apps will follow and think others will as well, it will simply make core apps....SIMPLE (when I say core apps, I mean anything that plugs into the New APIs - I consider a VoiP app a Core app, well above weather)