5/27/2011 10:37:00 AM
Power 50 Profile: Stephen Elop, CEO, Nokia
2011 Agent Provocateurs
Days before this year’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia’s CEO delivered a memo to the company that electrified the entire global telecoms industry. The now legendary ‘Burning Platform’ memo spelled out Nokia's plight in terms starker than even Nokia’s harshest critics would dare use. The company, which was once a byword for mobile phones, was facing the abyss. It had to consider strategic decisions that were previously unthinkable. And so Nokia’s future is now firmly aligned with Windows, as the company works with Microsoft to produce smartphones that will have huge implications for everyone in the mobile industry. The implications will be deep and broad; Windows purchase of Skype is one example of how Nokia's business could radically change. Elop, the first non-Finn to ever take the top job at Nokia, is still far from completing his first 12 months in the company. He has flattened the structure and taken the brutal but necessary step of cutting the workforce; 7,000 jobs (including 700 at Nokia’s Southwood site in the UK) have been cut. Nokia looks and talks like a different business to the one Elop's predecessor Pekka-Kallasvuo and handset chief Vanjoki once ruled. Elop’s task is huge, and he will probably have a three-year window to achieve it in, but whether he succeeds or fails, the impact will be felt across the industry.