Elop drops Nokia CEO role to lead devices team under Microsoft deal

Elop drops Nokia CEO role to lead devices team under Microsoft deal

Summary: Stephen Elop will take on a new role to lead an expanded Devices team, which will include all of Microsoft's current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams from Nokia.

Elop steps aside as Nokia CEO to lead the devices team.

Stephen Elop will be stepping aside from his role as Nokia's president and CEO, and returning to the Redmond giant in a new role, under Microsoft's acquisition bid.

Following today's announcement of the deal, he will become executive vice president of devices and services at Nokia, and report directly to Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer.

Elop will run an expanded devices team which will also include all of Microsoft's current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams coming over from Nokia.

Other Nokia executives will join Elop's team, including smart devices chief Jo Harlow, operations boss Juha Putkiranta, feature phones director Timo Toikkanen, and sales and marketing vice president Chris Weber.

According to Ballmer's e-mail note to staff, Julie Larson-Green will continue to run the Devices and Studios team, and will be focused on the big launches this fall including Xbox One and Surface enhancements. She will join his team once the acquisition closes.

"There are no significant plans to shift where work is done in the world as we integrate, so we expect the Nokia teams to stay largely in place, geographically," said Ballmer in the note.

In the meantime, Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors will take on the role as Nokia Interim CEO. If the deal goes through, Nokia will retain NSN, HERE, its CTO Office and its patent portfolio.

The latest news pushes Elop higher up the shortlist as a candidate to take over as Microsoft CEO following Ballmer's plans to retire in 12 months' time.

Elop was a former Microsoft executive who joined the Finnish phone maker in 2010. There has been much speculation and conspiracy theories that Elop was a "trojan horse", especially following the Nokia Microsoft phone tie-up in 2011.

Topics: Leadership, CXO, Microsoft, Nokia


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Elop is getting promoted

    This promotion is Elop's reward for being the Microsoft proxy in Finland, and for working so hard on Microsoft's behalf. No doubt he'll get a pay rise.

    You could say he jumped off the burning platform and back into the arms of Microsoft, to be given a handome promotion.
  • Bye-Bye Windows PhRT OEMs...

    Microsoft will now go it alone with Windows Phone, as it has already been doing with Windows RT.

    At some point, it will probably have to do so with desktop Windows as well. Either that, or just sit back and watch as OEMs like Lenovo, Acer etc steadily make more and more money from Android than Windows.
    • And

      Pay Microsoft patent royalties on Android anyway. Also where are all the Lenovo/Acer Android tablet announcements off late? All I hear about are Windows 8 hybrid laptops/tablets from the above mentioned companies.
      • Re: Pay Microsoft patent royalties on Android anyway

        Looks like those payments haven't lived up to the rumours. Look at why Microsoft has gone crying to so many Government authorities about how its business is being destroyed by Android. Big, grown-up companies don't go running to Mama over a skinned knee, it must be really hurting them.
        • Do you have any proof for your accusations?

          It seems your Google lord pays handsome for your trolling here. Care to share?
          Ram U
          • Re: Do you have any proof for your accusations?

            The proof lies in Microsoft's own actions: if it is making so much money from Android, why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
    • Apple will also go it alone, and not care about their OEMs...

      Oh, wait! Apple doesn't have OEMs, and nobody is complaining about that. How 'bout you? Why don't you complain to Apple about not sharing their OS and know-how with other companies?

      So, why is it bad that Microsoft wants to take charge of their whole set of technology and software offerings, and won't have to depend on the OEMs to perform as Microsoft wants them to. If you want something done right, you often have to do it yourself.
      • Re: So, why is it bad that Microsoft

        Did I say it was bad?

        Sounds like you agree with me, so you can't have been one of those ignorant asses who flagged me, can you?
  • Surprise

    It is a huge surprise, isn't it?
  • Elop was not that bad

    At times I thought he was just too bad - now it's clear who was employing him :-)
  • GovComm445d

    The plan:
    Plant our guy as CEO,
    Slowly make them us our platform via the puppet
    Scrap all of their stuff
    Drive down the share cost
    Buy the company cheap
    Puppet returns to master.

    We do this with nations, they do companies.

    Syria next
    • The plan you laid out, fall apart in many places....

      Only the smartphone division was purchased. Nokia will still remain to manage their other products and services.

      MS didn't purchase the patents which MS will use. MS is basically renting those patents and copyrights, although that could change, for for right now, Nokia keeps the IP.

      Nokia's shares went up in the markets after the announcement, so, the shares went up in price.

      The company wasn't bought cheap; $7.5 billion is a huge amount of money on anybody's book, and it's probably a much fairer price than the current value of Nokia's smartphone division.

      The MS "puppet" kept Nokia relevant, and Nokia will live to see another day and another year and probably another decade or more. The "puppet" is not a puppet when he is considered to be a prime candidate to become CEO and president of MS. Perhaps the puppet was Ballmer, and Elop was in the leadership position all along.

      Also, what nations have we taken over, and who were the puppets. And, why aren't those nations we took over behaving according to what the U.S. wants?

      Also, the NSA has likely been spying on your comments. So, be careful, because, according to people like you, MS is best friends with the NSA.