Also in today's EMEA roundup: AlcaLu hires former Goldman Sachs man; Bouygues sees second-quarter profits rise; mobile-banking warnings; Rushie returns.
Will Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s boss jump ship? That is the speculation reflected in the 5/1 odds being set by UK bookmaker Ladbrokes for Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to leave his still-smouldering platform and step into Steve Ballmer's shoes at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Those odds make Elop -- who came from Microsoft to try to turn around Nokia's fortunes -- the favorite to take Ballmer's job when he leaves within the year, though others in the frame, according to this Reuters report, include internal Microsoft candidate Kevin Turner and ex-Microsoft man Steve Sinofsky. (See Ballmer Bails on Microsoft, Nokia's 'Burning Platform' Memo, and Nokia Dumps CEO, Hires Elop.)
Beware the fat-finger syndrome: Those fiddly little keypads could cause costly cock-ups when it comes to mobile banking, reports the BBC, citing a study by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority. It also warns about mobile banking late at night when, er, concentration may be impaired.
Here at Euronews Towers we've been waiting years to bring you a photo of soccer legend Ian Rush holding a milk bottle, and here it is.
Ian Rush: A lotta bottle, and a lotta goals.
Rush, Liverpool FC's all-time leading goalscorer, can be seen as the anti-Beckham: You never saw him poncing around in a tight-fitting vest advertising men's "fragrances." Oh, and the reason for the Rush/milk bottle photo opp? Something to do with UK mobile joint venture EE bringing 4G to the Northern town of Accrington.
Elop/Nokia is a package deal Microsoft need someone with mobile background. Hiring Elop will make a statement on the company's direction. In that case, Microsoft better be ready to acquire Nokia as a package deal. Maybe sending Elop to Nokia for "training" was all in Microsoft's plan?
Re: Microsoft's new CEO Bates is also, according to his Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bates, a self-taught programmer who dropped out of university, just like another former Microsoft chief--can't remember the guy's name, but I think it rhymes with "Bates."
Ballmer replacement For Microsoft's sake, I hope the 12 month runway for Ballmer leaving is so that they do not jump into replacing him with a sub-par candidate. Doesn't seem as though Elop gained any points for what he did or didn't do during his stay at Nokia. Might as well consider Heines from Blackberry too -- oh yeah, he doesn't think tablets will be a big thing in two years which goes against one of MS growing markets. Maybe think about throwing a load of money at one of the Apple iPhone guys or someone at Samsung who turned that company around from a cheap device to one of the few that rival the iPhone. MS has been forgiven several times for its missteps into mobility and for many of us in the industry and the financial community there are is more forgiveness - the Wall St reaction to Ballmer leaving is a signal to that.
Maybe MS might want to look at someone from the mobile carrier side of the ecosystem - someone who can balance the existing computer business with mobility.
Microsoft's new CEO I'm not surprised Elop is emerging as a CEO candidate. But what about Tony Bates, former CEO of Skype, now part of Microsoft? The OS needs tighter Skype integration, for one thing, and Bates knows about innovation and disruption in the mobile industry.