Elop steps down as Nokia CEO


Nokia announces leadership changes following acquisition by Microsoft

Stephen Elop announced after today's announcement that Microsoft is to acquire Nokia's Devices & Services division that he is stepping aside as Nokia president and CEO.

Instead Elop will take on the role of Nokia executive vice president of Devices & Services. In his place is Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors and now Nokia interim CEO.

Siilasmaa will, among other tasks, oversee strategy and have four direct reports: Michael Halbherr, executive vice president, HERE; Elop for Devices & Services; Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia CFO and interim president; and Jesper Ovesen, executive chairman of the NSN Board of Directors.

The following Nokia Leadership Team members will report to Elop: Marko Ahtisaari, executive vice president, Design; Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Smart Devices; Juha Putkiranta, executive vice president, Operations; Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones; and Chris Weber, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing.

Ahtisaari has decided to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and will step down from the Nokia Leadership Team and his position as executive vice president, Design, on 1 November 2013. He will continue to work on activities related to the transaction through to 30 November. When he leaves, Stefan Pannenbecker will lead Design.  These changes, which are effective immediately, are designed to provide an appropriate corporate governance structure during the interim period following the announcement of the transaction.

Mokia expects that Elop, Putkiranta, Toikkanen and Weber, among others, will transfer to Microsoft at the anticipated closing.Smart Chimps says: A strong leader is required to take all companies into the market battle, particularly at times of stress, such as during an acquisition. Microsoft needs to ensure it picks the best leader for its new mobile device company, for not only does it have to make a name for itself in the world of smartphone design, but it also needs to make sure its team from Nokia does not jump ship. Despite financial losses, Elop has helped make the Nokia brand desirable and up to date again, and is a respected CEO. He will need to be replaced with someone that the new company can look up to and trust in, and that understands this business inside out.


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