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

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.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor
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.

Editorial standards