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Dissenting Nokia shareholders: Bring us the head of Stephen Elop

Elopocalypse, Day Five

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A group of purported Nokia shareholders and former employees has vowed to challenge the new company's strategy at the next AGM in May.

The revolting shareholders' "plan B" calls for a return to "high growth and high profit margin through innovation" and "maintain ownership and control of the software layer of the Nokia products".

Oh, and they demand the immediate removal of CEO Stephen Elop.

They write that Nokia must "avoid at all cost becoming a poorly differentiated OEM with only low margin, commodity products that is unable to attract top software talent and cannot create shareholder value though innovation."

The dissenters also call for the company to dump Elop and the Executive Board, with Savander (marketing), McDowell (enterprise) and Ojänpera (holistic moonshine) given their immediate marching orders. Nokia should focus on Meego, they insist, and use Windows merely as a tactical addition to its portfolio in the North American market, extending the life of Symbian.

The plan calls for deep cuts, with R&D to be focussed in two locations (multiple locations allow Nokia staff to clock up their air miles) and end R&D outsourcing, which is bureaucratic and expensive.

Although shareholders called on Nokia to dump Symbian and opt for a more competitive platform, when Elop outlined his plan to do exactly that, Nokia lost 25 per cent of its value. The falls continue today.

Deep misgivings remain over Nokia's ability to execute on the strategy, and there is almost universal scepticism that Nokia will be able to increase its margins at the service layer (ie, Ovi) to compensate for disappearing margins on devices.

The AGM is scheduled for 3 May. It's unlikely to be more than a token protest. By May the Meego team will have been dissolved - its leader, Alberto Torres has already left - and Elop will really be able to say there's no alternative. ®

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