Nokia Appoints New President & CEO

9 Sep 2010

As of September 21st, Stephen Elop will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, as appointed by its Board of Directors. Elop, who currently heads Microsoft's Business Division, has held senior executive position in several companies, including Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. and holds a degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University.

UCStrategies UC Expert Michael Finneran is a little skeptical about Nokia's decision. "As the smartphone market has exploded, Nokia's stock has dropped 75% since late 2008," he states. "Their Symbian operating system still leads in worldwide smartphone market share, but that share has dropped from over 50% to around 40% today, and they're not even on the radar in the US market. Nokia desperately needs a leader who can get their product focus back in sync with consumer expectations. Mr. Elop is an able executive, I'm just not sure if he's the right executive for this company at this time."

UCStrategies co-founder Jim Burton is more optimistic about Elop's appointment. "While Mr. Elop may face many challenges in his new role, he may already be ahead of the game when it comes to some new products," Burton says. "When Microsoft and Nokia announced a global alliance a little over a year ago, they stated several important initiatives that could yield a new product category and leapfrog some of Apple's recent successes with the iPhone and iPad."

Nokia's current President and CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, will leave his position on September 20th, but will continue to chair the Board of Nokia Siemens Networks, although not as an executive. His severance payment will consist of 18 months gross base salary and target incentive, totally approximately 4.6 million euro (over 5.8 million dollars), as well as the fair market value of his 100,000 restricted Nokia shares.

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