Will Elop Return Without the Crown?

What a year it has been for Stephen Elop. Having engineered the sale of Nokia's handset business to his former employer, he lined up a massive payoff and put himself in strong contention to return to Microsoft as the successor to retiring CEO Steve Ballmer. (See The Nokia/Microsoft Conspiracy Theory.)

However, according to a Bloomberg report that cites sources "familiar with the matter," Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Satya Nadella, currently executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, are the front-runners for the top job at Microsoft. Which means that Elop and Tony Bates, Microsoft's executive vice president of Business Development and Evangelism, are now less likely to get the call.

Whether as the new CEO or not, Elop is set to return to Microsoft as part of the Nokia deal, which was recently approved by the Finnish giant's shareholders. (See Nokia: It's Really Happening.)

I wonder, though, if the Microsoft board has considered its full range of options: After all, Thorsten Heins is also available. (See BlackBerry Gets $1B to Drop Sale Search, CEO Resigns.)

Related posts:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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DanJones 11/30/2013 | 9:41:29 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... Yep.

One interesting data point though, Nokia Lumia is a v. popular platform in Latin America. Has anyone figured out why that it is yet?
DanJones 11/30/2013 | 9:39:54 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... Meanwhile Google builds out a comprehensive series of mobile doc apps linked to the cloud that can be used cross-platform. Definitely agree that Msft needs to make Office mobile across platforms.
DanJones 11/30/2013 | 9:37:41 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... Well their fates are tied now.
DOShea 11/30/2013 | 9:01:55 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... That is a comprehensive comment--and it doesn't even mention the failed partnerships with Nortel and Motorola.
lanbrown 11/30/2013 | 6:39:29 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... Microsoft and mobile don't go along because of them.  First you had Sendo and with Microsoft apparently behind schedule to get Sendo the code for the OS so Sendo dropped Microsoft.  After Sendo had many issues Microsoft basically got a phone design out of it and Sendo eventually just died.  So their first phone partner Microsoft just positioned to fail.  Windows Mobile eventually was released to replace their earlier offering and Microsoft just let it languish between releases.  WM 6.5 really was never planned but something had to be released and even then Microsoft did nothing to keep that going.  Microsoft bought Danger and they did nothing but spit on the customer and let yet another OS just die.  Microsoft had the developers of Danger produce the Kin.  That was probably the shortest lived OS ever.  So Microsoft decided WP was going to be their sole entry.  WM still outsold WP up until 18 to 24 months ago.  Then WP was released an all existing WM customers were spit on by Microsoft.  They did it again with WP8.  The same could be said for Nokia.  If Nokia wanted to do WP they should have waited until WP8 was released as Nokia did nothing for their customers but abandon them.  They could have used WP8 hardware (multicore CPU's but only allowed one CPU to be used or seen) and that would have allowed a migration to WP8 as the second core could have been unlocked.


Microsoft has always been late with the SDK for WP and then they limited who could download it.  You had the OS out and many small developers didn't even have access to the SDK.  Microsoft still doesn't have a cohesive tie of API's between WP, Surface RT and Windows 8.  Surface and Windows 8 do but WP and RT do not.  Not even RT and WP have a common set of API's.  WIndows, Surface RT and WP were all different groups and didn't talk amongst themselves.  Fixing it later doesn't help as it shows it was all rushed out the door and puts developers in a bad position.  Just recently did Microsoft at least tie the developer programs together.  Not even the easy parts did Microsoft try to tie together.


Microsoft will just toss money at WP and Surface until they have nothing left.  Microsoft also requires partners and Surface put a strain on that relationship.  Windows 8 didn't help either.  With them buying Nokia, will any partner even look at Surface or WP again?  Most sell Android as well but now they have Sailfish OS and Firefox OS to sell as well.  Samsung will have Tizen as well as Android.  So there is room for a third and fourth OS but I highly doubt it will WP as the third or fourth.  BlackBerry has a better chance than Microsoft does.
[email protected] 11/30/2013 | 5:42:48 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... You may well be right - we will fnd out by 2015 I guess.

MSFT does not have a good track record with mobile, though, and it's had enough goes...
lanbrown 11/30/2013 | 5:19:54 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... But what remains might actually be worth it.  Take Office, it would solve the Microsoft forcing what it wants on others and Office could be made available to iOS, Android, Sailfish OS, Tizen, Chrome OS, Linux, etc.  Right now Microsoft is trying to use Office as a way to shift WP and Surface.  Is that good for the industry?
[email protected] 11/30/2013 | 4:09:40 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... I fear the end result might be even further erosion of what Nokia had built over decades rather than a disintegration of MSFT.
DanJones 11/30/2013 | 3:37:13 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... I wouldn't wish the kind of Nokia meltdown on the employees of Microsoft that's for sure, wouldn't be good for the tech econony in general either.
lanbrown 11/29/2013 | 6:14:57 PM
Re: MS Mobile - No, No, Nokia... Look at his past; two-thirds of the companies he was at were either pruchased or filed bankruptcy.


I really want him to be the next CEO of Microsoft.  Then when he arrived he can send the burning platform memo about WP, Windows 8.x and Surface.  The question is, will Microsoft file bankruptcy or will someone buy it?
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