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How Stephen Elop Destroyed Nokia

Oct. 10, 2012 12:45 PM ETNokia Oyj (NOK)AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, BB338 Comments
Reza H. Namavar profile picture
Reza H. Namavar

When Stephen Elop took the reins of Nokia (NYSE:NOK), the company was flying high, contrary to what Americans may think. The company had 60% market share in smartphones, was selling over half a billion phones, and had potentially the next best thing in its pipeline. Granted, Nokia's U.S. operations were non-existent and the past CEO was ousted for poor performance, but I would trade poor performance with the 300 million consumers in the U.S. for being the leading cell phone maker for the other 6.7 billion people in the world. That is exactly where Nokia was on April 22, 2010, when Stephen Elop came to the show.

At first, I thought Nokia's woes were the result of poor products and a company that was slow to the uptake on a number of industry-wide trends. It was only after reading Tomi Ahonen's article on the "19 Reasons Stephen Elop Must Go" that I realized how wrong I was. Nokia, in fact, was the innovator, and it was Stephen Elop that destroyed it.

Tomi Ahonen, a former executive at Nokia (prior to its woes) and currently a telecom consultant, is a prolific writer and I highly recommend you also read his article (much of what I say comes from his writings). His words confirmed many things about Nokia that I knew and many that I didn't and I will explain the most horrifying things that Stephen Elop has done since he took office. The more I read about this, the more it truly saddens me how badly one man can make a company fall so hard.

There are three things that lead to success or failure for smartphone makers: your platform, your carrier relations and your sales relationships. Stephen Elop destroyed all three.

Complete Product Failure

While Stephen Elop pushed the company

This article was written by

Reza H. Namavar profile picture
Reza has 8 years of investing experience. His primary expertise is investing in consumer and technology stocks with a bent towards affordable growth and well-managed companies. He is founder of Dream Mobile a company developing affordable smartphones in the African market.

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