Stephen Elop may not be CEO of Nokia anymore but he is still the companys Executive Vice President for Devices & Services while that division waits for the completed sale to Microsoft in early 2014. As such, he was front and center during last weeks Nokia World event and is still speaking for the company in interviews.
In a new chat with the Indian website The Hindu, Elop admitted that the company had not been profitable since they made the decision to move to Windows Phone, but that was a deliberate choice. He stated:
When you are starting something new, you have to over-invest, you have to put the money into it. But if you go back, lets say five quarters ago to now … you can see a clear trajectory of increased sales building up. This is part of the reason that Microsoft is excited to do what they are doing, because this is at a time when the trajectory is heading in exactly the correct direction. We made a conscious decision as to how much would we invest, that we would over-invest, with the intent of building that momentum. And that’s exactly what we are seeing, so we were pleased to do that.
So if the momentum for Windows Phone is going up, then why sell the Devices and Services division to Microsoft now? Elop stated that ultimately it was trying to give Nokia shareholders more value, adding, " ... because of this transaction, the share prices have gone up by quite a bit — more than just the value of the transaction."
He also commented about the branding issue, stating that Microsoft will own the Lumia and Asha brands after the deal is completed but added there are still some decisions to be made "as to what combination of words and brands will be used for smartphones" when Microsoft starts selling Windows Phone devices on their own.