Early this morning, Nokia came out of far left field and announced that they’ve hired a new CEO, Stephen Elop. There were rumors that OPK was going to be replaced earlier this year, but today’s announcement is definitely weird given that Nokia World kicks off in less than a week.
Stephen Elop is a Canadian with quite a powerful background in software and services – both places where Nokia…well…..sucks. Stephen was the CEO of Macromedia before they were acquired by Adobe, and carried on at Adobe, and then Juniper Networks. More recently, Stephen served as the head of Microsoft’s Business division, a position he took in January 2008. He’ll be relocating to Finland shortly, and starts his first day on Sept 21, 2010.
The whole announcement is completely fascinating to me, for a few reasons:
1. Nokia World kicks off in less than a week. I think it’s completely odd that Nokia didn’t just wait to make the announcement until afterwards, especially since Elop’s not officially taking office until after the event, anyways.
2. OPK is no longer listed as the keynote speaker at Nokia World (he was listed there yesterday). I personally think it’s rather sad that they couldn’t even let him have one final Nokia World. Of course, he may still be there, but it appears as though he won’t be keynoting. Then again, it’s also possible that OPK didn’t really want to, either.
3. Stephen has the slightest Canadian accent, and it’s going to be completely weird to hear new product announcements without that thick Finnish accent.
I definitely welcome Stephen Elop to Nokia, and look forward to what he’s going to do. As my friend Stefan points out, though, for at least the next 12 months or so, don’t expect much from Elop. The upcoming devices have been in the works for far too long for him to make an effect on them, and as was mentioned in the press video, there currently aren’t any changes coming to the overall Nokia strategy. Elop’s just here to actually make things happen.
You can read a transcript of the press event at AllAboutSymbian, or watch the video below of Stephen Elop at Web2Expo last year.