Feeds

Nokia shareholder tells CEO Elop he's going to hell

If you're in a hole, stop digging

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has been taking flak from angry shareholders at the company's annual investor's conference, with accusations flying that he's running the company into the ground by keeping Nokia as a Windows-only operation.

"You're a nice guy ... and the leadership team is doing its best, but clearly, it's not enough," shareholder Hannu Virtanen told Elop, Reuters reports. "Are you aware that results are what matter? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Please switch to another road."

It has been over two years since Elop made public the "Burning Platform" memo to Nokia staff that warned of the vendor's fundamental problems as he saw them. Two days later, Elop signed up his former employers at Microsoft to provide an operating system for the Finnish vendor which has seen little sign of setting the world on fire.

Two years down the line and the investors are getting fractious. Shares are hovering around the $3 mark, down from almost $60 in Nokia's glory years around the turn of the century. Shareholders large and small lambasted Elop for his strategy, but the American boss insisted there was no Plan B.

"We make adjustments as we go. But it's very clear to us that in today's war of ecosystems, we've made a very clear decision to focus on Windows Phone with our Lumia product line," he said. "And it is with that that we will compete with competitors like Samsung and Android."

Given the state of the company's last financial results, that kind of attitude is not going to placate the owners of Nokia, nor solve the Finish company's long-term problems. Handset sales were down nearly a third on the year, and while some Lumia models are selling reasonably well, Nokia is being squeezed at both the high and low ends of the market.

"He's managed to decrease costs but not to increase market share," said Magnus Rehle, senior partner in Greenwich Consulting, which advises telecom companies. "Maybe they could go back to Google and say we also want to go with Android. Even if it hurts. Microsoft, they've had their chances, and are not managing to take off."

Finnish pension fund Ilmarinen wasn't impressed, telling Reuters that it had reduced its shareholdings in Nokia by over a quarter. Other shareholders expressed concerns with the corporate policy Elop is espousing.

"He has closed doors," said Juha Varis, senior portfolio manager at Danske Capital. "They don't have new ideas now. Their fate is all in Windows Phones."

The problem with Elop's steady-as-she-goes course is that he appears to be losing the confidence of his crew. When that happens a mutiny is the traditional course, and Elop could well find himself walking the plank. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.