Ex-Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila eyeing a spot on Microsoft's board?

Ex-Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila eyeing a spot on Microsoft's board?

Summary: Joining Microsoft's board of directors would be a logical next move for Nokia's former-CEO Jorma Ollila, claims a Finnish financial analyst.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Nokia
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Jorma Ollila, the former chief executive of Nokia and ex-chairman of the board, could be joining Microsoft's board of directors, according to a Finnish financial analyst.

Ollila hasn't spoken publicly about his future plans, which fuels the speculation even more. Oksaharju admits that at this point his talk is mere conjecture, but says there's nobody more qualified than Ollila available right now.

"Ollila is, for all his strengths and weaknesses, a pioneer," Jukka Oksaharju, of Nordic savings bank Nordnet, said.

Oksaharju's speculations have gotten a lot of play in Finnish media, and his argument does make some sense. Ollila was Nokia's chairman in 2010, when negotiations began with Nokia's future CEO Stephen Elop, then at Microsoft.

Ollila would have gotten to know Microsoft's top brass and talked about both companies strategies with them.

With PC sales sagging, Microsoft is changing course and trying to gain a foothold in the mobile and tablet industry. Purchasing Nokia's phone business was one step in this new direction, and Ollila is obviously intimately familiar with Nokia's phone business.

Ollila is an international management professional, who has been chairing Shell since 2006 and has previously ast on the boards of Ford and Finnish forestry company UPM-Kymmene. He now sits on the board of Outokumpu, the Finnish mining company. Were Ollila to join Microsoft's board, he'd bring 20 years of experience with him.

"Joining Microsoft's board wouldn't be a surprise in itself, but it would be the crowning achievement of Nokia's sale and Ollila's career," Oksaharju said.

"Who would have more experience in global telecommunication business? The entire industry was created during his reign."

There are clear signs of change at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer is stepping down as CEO and institutional investors have reportedly hinted at removing Bill Gates from his position as chairman.

Such a move could be interpreted as a wish to bring in new leadership from outside of Microsoft. Ford CEO Alan Mulally is also said to be the current frontrunner for the Microsoft top job.

More on Microsoft

Topics: Microsoft, Nokia

Olli Sulopuisto

About Olli Sulopuisto

Olli Sulopuisto has been covering technology, consumer matters, film and television since 2007. He resides in Helsinki, Finland.

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2 comments
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  • more proof

    More proof that there's sumthing fishy abt d nokia/ms deal
    ArcaneAce
  • Not sure they'd appreciate his lack of foresight in the mobile space

    It's one thing to succeed in a market that's so new and ground breaking that none of the players can fail. It's quite another when it's matured and mistakes can cost you 10's of billions. He oversaw the building of the burning platform and lit the match. If saying I'd like to be on the Microsoft board was all it took to get me there that'd be great, but unfortunately it's up to them to ask. Join me Jorma in not holding our breath.
    Johnny Vegas