31 December 1963 |
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
|Occupation||President & CEO, Nokia Corporation|
Stephen Elop (born 31 December 1963) is the chief executive officer of Nokia Corporation. A Canadian citizen, Elop is the first non-Finn to be named CEO of Nokia. He replaced Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in this position on September 21, 2010.
Personal life 
Elop was born in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. In his spare time, he is an avid recreational pilot. He is married to Nancy Elop, with whom he has five children, four girls and a boy, including triplets.
From 1981, Elop studied computer engineering and management at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, graduating second in his class with a bachelor's degree in 1986. Stephen helped lay 22 kilometers of Ethernet cable around campus to create one of the first Internet networks in Canada.
Elop was a director of consulting for Lotus Development Corporation before becoming CIO for Boston Chicken in 1992, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1998. In the same year, he joined Macromedia's Web/IT department and worked at the company for seven years, where he held several senior positions, including CEO from January 2005 for three months before their acquisition by Adobe Systems was announced in April 2005.
He was then president of worldwide field operations at Adobe, tendering his resignation in June 2006 and leaving in December, after which he was the COO of Juniper Networks for exactly one year from January 2007-2008.
Before starting at Nokia, Elop worked for Microsoft from January 2008 to September 2010 as the head of the Business Division, responsible for the Microsoft Office line of products, and as a member of the company's senior leadership team. During his time at Microsoft, the Business Division released Office 2010.
Nokia announced on March 11, 2011 that it had paid Elop a $6 million signing bonus, “compensation for lost income from his prior employer," on top of his $1.4 million annual salary.
"Burning Platform" and Windows Phone 
Shortly after joining Nokia, Elop issued a company internal memo titled “Burning Platform”, that was immediately leaked to the press. The memo likened the 2010 situation of Nokia in the smartphone market to a person standing on a burning oil platform (in software, "platform" is used to refer to frameworks such as Symbian, Apple iOS and Google Android.)
Media reception was mixed. Some have since remarked that the memo was a wake-up call for Nokia (“It is one of the most combustible and gripping documents ever to emerge from a major corporation.” (BBC) and “With its elegant writing style and brutal honesty, the 1,200-word missive is far removed from the average management pep talk.” (Financial Times)). The memo has also even been referenced as a guide for other business and political leaders. However, mobile commenter Tomi Ahonen has called it "the costliest management memo ever written".
In February 2011, Elop announced a new strategy for Nokia, which included the discontinuation of both of their in-house mobile operating systems, shifting its smartphone strategy to Microsoft's Windows Phone. The phase-out of Symbian was to be carried out during the following years, expecting it to be finalized by 2016, and plans for any MeeGo devices beyond the Nokia N9 were scrapped. The Nokia N9 was released during this transition, to wide acclaim. The first Nokia Windows Phone smartphones shipped in November 2011 in the form of a device whose design was made to be virtually identical to the N9, the Nokia Lumia 800.
Some technology writers have criticised Elop for the decision to move away from Symbian and MeeGo platforms to Windows Phone and bad timing in communicating this decision (a.k.a. Osborne effect). Elop himself later admitted to some damaging effects of his memo. Ahonen also argues that as a result of the memo and Elop's communication, "Nokia is doing the most rapid death in the shortest period of time ever, for a global market leader Fortune 500 sized company. Ever."
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|Nokia Corporation CEO