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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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