No U-turn for Microsoft: Nokia deal enforces Ballmer strategy on next CEO

Summary:The next Microsoft CEO won't be able to make too many changes in corporate strategy.

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's business groups leaves little room for the next CEO to choose a different strategy from the current "devices and services" focus of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.

The deal had been in the works for many months. 

Matthew Campbell and Aaron Kirchfeld reported on Bloomberg: Microsoft Raced to $7.2 Billion Deal With Soul-Searching Nokia - Bloomberg

Discussions began in earnest after a meeting between Ballmer and Risto Siilasmaa, the Finnish company’s chairman, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. 

The timing of the deal appears to indicate that CEO Ballmer's announced exit was sudden. Otherwise the board would have waited for the new CEO to have the opportunity to set a new strategy for the company unencumbered by legacy deals.

Some Microsoft watchers have urged the company to ditch its consumer business and focus on its lucrative enterprise markets. That'll be near impossible now.

Please see:

Giving Microsoft Free Advice: The Best So Far…And My 2 Cents 

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility


In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to become a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley. Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leading comput... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.