The standard criticism we hear about Nokia is that it’s a company overrun with managers, where decisions are always made based on business sense and never made based on product vision.
And it seems like Nokia’s board just hired another CEO who is a seasoned manager, but not a consumer product visionary. So unless Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new boss, has hidden talents, he may represent more of the same for Nokia — which would be a disaster.
Nokia needs someone who can leapfrog Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android the way they leapfrogged Nokia. Is Elop that guy?
Let’s trace through his career: Nothing exciting the last couple years as the Office boss at Microsoft, nothing that consumers would ever care about as COO of Juniper Networks, and then sales functions at Adobe and Macromedia.
Sounds like another suit, and not the dreamer that Nokia needs to beat Apple and Google.
To be sure, Elop will bring Nokia closer to Silicon Valley, where much of the innovation is happening in mobile, which is good. And, heck, who knows, maybe he has some hidden product genius we’ve never seen.
But it sure looks like more of the same from Nokia. And if Nokia continues with more of the same for several more years, it will only continue to rot.
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