Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

Summary: Stephen Elop, the President of Microsoft's Business unit, is leaving Microsoft to become the CEO of Nokia. Who will become the new head of Office at Microsoft?


Stephen Elop, the President of Microsoft's Business unit, is leaving Microsoft to become the CEO of Nokia.

Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will step down Sept. 20. Elop will take the Nokia CEO reins on September 21.

Elop ran the Information Worker, Microsoft Business Solutions/Dynamics and Unified Communications Groups Business. He joined Microsoft in January 2008 from Juniper Networks where he was Chief Operating Officer.

He was one of the four presidents at Microsoft and a member of the senior leadership team. Elop's Office-chief predecessor was Microsoft veteran Jeff Raikes, who left Microsoft in 2008 and is now the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

My ZDNet colleague Larry Dignan is wondering whether a Microsoft man can fix Nokia. I'm wondering who Microsoft will appoint to replace Elop. No word on whether it will be an insider or an outsider.

Elop's teams have been working with Nokia for more than a year on getting various Microsoft products, like Office Mobile and Communicator to work on Nokia smartphones.

As of Elop's departure, CEO Steve Ballmer will now have two huge parts of the company reporting directly to him. With the departure of former Entertainment & Devices Chief Robbie Bach, announced earlier this summer, Ballmer will have the mobile communications business, gaming and now Office all reporting to him until new presidents are named.

Update: Here's Ballmer's letter to the Microsoft troops about Elop's departure.

Topics: Microsoft, CXO, Collaboration, Nokia


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Who?

    Ballmer ;-)

    <br><br>Edit: Another perspective:<br><br><a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/10/nokia_ceo_analysis/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/10/nokia_ceo_analysis/</a>
    • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office


      Well, he was not there so long - hardly more than another failed product cycle (Now, how can we make Office still more bloated and irrelevant instead of useful and easier to use - Yeah, let's shovel in a ribbon and drive up training costs to accomplish the same work in more time. The IT guys loved him because they got to extend their empires - STILL BIGGER BUDGETS!)

      What a great recommendation for the BloatFarmers: get your ticket punched, take a ride and depart in a few years. Great message to the troops at the central Redmond dung heap.

      Nokia needs him like another hole in the head. Nokia needs someone with genuine hardware/software product conception and development experience, not another monopoly defender.
      Jeremy W
      • Yet more things for you to demonstrate you have no clue about

        how very unsurprising... btw all measurments have shown the ribbon to significantly improve user productivity...
        Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

        @Jeremy W If you knew what you were talking about you'd be dangerous. Most IT departments have had their budgets slashed over the last two years. Fact! At the same time the growth of Microsoft's enterprise business has outpaced everyone else in the industry. Fact! Hmm...what could be the reason for that? So you don't have to think too hard, here's the answer: Despite what you personally believe to be true, the fact is that customer continue to invest in Microsoft's enterprise software because it has the lowest total life cycle costs of any enterprise platform available today. It saves them money. I know that will be difficult for you to swallow and it does seem that you don't let facts get in the way of your beliefs but reality is reality...
      • Huh?


        Erm, if all and sundry are getting their IT budgets cut then it is surprising to me that you can say (as a fact) that Microsoft's enterprise business was outpacing everyone. One would have imagined that enterprises weren't tossing any money around, even for Office/Enterprise.

        That or outpaced might mean didn't do as badly as others in the recession.

        I dunno, but it seems weird what you said.
      • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

        @ZKiwi Think of this way. Microsoft is getting and larger slice of a smaller pie i.e. an IT department may have to shrink their budget by 5% year over year but Microsoft grows it's share if the same IT budget by 10%. They can do that because the customer saves money by consolidating their complex multi-vendor environment down to a smaller number of platforms. Despite what anyone reads in the blogosphere customers do find that Microsoft's enterprise platform costs less to purchase and manage over the total life cycle.
  • Genuinely a Disaster for MS

    IMHO this is a disaster for MS. Elop was one of the few CEO quality members of the existing management team and pretty much the only one with any EQ. The fact that MS could not give him a reason to stay, even with a tempting CEO offer in front of him, is very telling.<br><br>Bad, bad day for the company.
  • he's jumping from the sinking ship

    the OSS momentum forced Elop to find a better place.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

      @Linux Geek Hmm...what OSS momentum? Last I heard Linux server sales were down and Windows server sales were up. Linux desktop share is down and the one platform where Linux might have had a reasonable chance (Netbooks) went from 75% Linux share to less than 20% share over the last three years. Please don't tell me you meant Open Office. Sorry to inform you but that pipe dream got canned when Oracle bought Sun. If Elop was feeling the pressure from anyone it was Google and if you believe they are a friend of OSS then I've got a bridge you can buy...
      • Please... Don't feed the trolls...

        As evidenced by his avatar... Given his nature, he likely already has a bridge he lives under.

        For what it's worth, LG's got a few dozen screws loose. He's a few fry's short of a Happy Meal. About a year ago, he was predicting that by this time of year, Microsoft would be bankrupt and out of business. Thus far, his track record is 100% - 100% EPIC FAILURE. Gotta hand it to him. He is persistent. He's been predicting the year of Linux for years now and he's on a hot streak - he hasn't been right yet. So there's no reason for him to change now.
  • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

    What I find interesting about Elop's move isn't the move of the man himself but the "strengthened" connection between the two company's viz. Microsoft and Nokia. Wouldn't it be interesting if Microsoft acquires (or near acquires) a significant phone company? I see this as a possible scenario especially if Microsoft's intent is to become a driver in the mobile space.
    • MS buying a phone maker?

      Hi. I know a number of folks are speculating this move could mean MS buys Nokia or MS buys RIM (to attack Nokia), but I just don't see this. MS isn't a hardware maker (except in rare cases) and has said they are shying away from larger acquisitions... So I am doubtful. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

        @Hey MJ: I agree with your points, but I can't help but wonder how much longer Microsoft can hold out relying on partners that are ALL using revenues generated from milking the WIntel cash-cow to fuel their design and release of machines based on alternative hardware (i.e. ARM) and alternative platforms (i.e. Android). And all the while, Apple is making a mint from producing GREAT laptop and desktop hardware running a mediocre OS.

        Sooner or later, MS is going to realize that the ONLY way they're going to be able to stem Apple's growth is to get into the hardware game and designing premium hardware and the necessary drivers etc. optimized to make Windows SING, operate flawlessly and sip battery power.

        I'm (reluctantly) saying this as someone who generally dislikes Apple and has regularly pointed out the price differential (Apple Tax) etc:

        The fact is that the best laptop to run Windows on is a MacBook Pro. This still makes me queasy to admit, but it is (sadly) true. Yes, there are laptops that are juat about as pretty/light/slim/rugged. Yes there are cheaper laptops. Yes, there are faster laptops. Yes, there are laptops that offer better battery life.

        But there are no laptops that currently offer all that a MacBook Pro does.

        Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Toshiba are all distracted. They're busy trying to create iPad competitors using ARM and Android. They're all distracted by the low-margin run-for-a-day-on-a-single-charge netbook/low-end-laptop market.

        And NONE of them are in any way competing with Apple. It's like they've given up the fight. HP's Envy is about as close a competitor as Apple has ... and HP really are close to competing with their current line-up. But with 2-3 hour battery life AT BEST, they're just not in the same league.
  • I do not think..

    I just sit and muse at the 1,2,3,4,5 exits of the management team leaving through the revolving door wondering if and when the CEO will be pushed out the door.
    • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

      @CustomComputers : Elop wasn't around long enough to make a significant impact on MS. And god was he a bore! Truly a business-person's businessman.

      His leaving will have little impact on MS or its Business Software division. Hoping they manage to find someone with a little oomph. Time for MS' Office Suite and supporting server products (and the online services too) to really kick it up a notch.
  • To Mr. Elop

    If you are listening, only one thing you need to do, you will be a hero to Nokia:

    Fully adopt Silverlight.

    Hope you understand what I mean. I know most people don't.
  • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

    Very interesting! Maybe we can see a Nokia-Microsoft merger coming up. :) Or at least a lot better collab and some big ROI for all the R&D. This actually seems like a big win for Microsoft.
  • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

  • RE: Elop out as head of Microsoft Office

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