The conspiracy theorists came out in force this weekend after the early Friday morning announcement that Nokia would roll out Windows Phone smartphones in the future. It was said that Elop was the 8th largest Microsoft stockholder and owned no Nokia stock and that he was a trojan horse that came to Nokia with a plan all along to work with Microsoft's Windows Phone.
In regards to the shares, apparently Elop started to sell his shares, but was forced to halt sales after Nokia and Microsoft started working through CEO negotiations. He also was not able to purchase Nokia stock because of the rules regarding stock ownership so those making a major deal out of his stock and tying it to some conspiracy need to reevaluate this idea. He stated he will be purchasing Nokia stock as soon as the rules allow him to. Actually, if he ends up keeping his Microsoft stock I would think Nokians would be comforted in knowing he has a vested interest in making the Windows Phone deal succeed.
Earlier today at Mobile World Congress Nokia held a press event where CEO Stephen Elop was present and during the Q&A period someone actually asked him straight up if he was a trojan horse. He said that he was not and that the entire Nokia management team was involved in the Nokia Microsoft partnership. There are many Finnish Nokia management people and I doubt a new CEO could come in and just make such a major decision without complete buy in and approval. The board of directors has to be involved with decisions of this magnitude and it is rather ridiculous to think he is a dictator that just came into Nokia and decided to go rogue and partner with Microsoft on Windows Phone.
I know this deal is painful for many Nokia personnel and fans, but as Mr. Elop clearly stated in his burning platform memo things were not good at Nokia and something radical had to be done to get them back into the high end smartphone game. As a Nokia fan myself, I have sad feelings about what might become of the Nokia that I have liked for so long since the openness and customizability of their platforms and the Finnish influence are things that appealed to me. Then again, it has been a few years since really innovative and exciting products have been released and times change.