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Former Nokia boss Stephen Elop scores gig as chief innovator for Australia's top telco

Apparently posesses 'innate sense of customer expectations'

Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop
Elop (right) back when Satya Nadella (left) like him

Former Nokia boss and victim of Microsoft's acquisition of a business it didn't know how to run, Stephen Elop, is headed to the antipodes for a role with Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra.

Elop ended up with Microsoft as part of Nokia's exit from the handset business – something he was intimately involved with, since it was also Elop's decision to embrace Windows for the company's phones in 2011.

That decision was, it must be conceded, made under a deal of pressure: Nokia's Symbian and MeGo platforms were withering in the face of the dual assault of Android and iOS.

Microsoft's failure in the phone market made the partnership miserable for Nokia. The company began its exit from the handset business in 2013 with the announcement it would flog the operation to Microsoft, a deal completed in 2014.

In June 2015, Microsoft decided to “realign its engineering efforts”, shuffling Elop out as it glued the Operating Systems Group and the Mobile Devices Group into the Windows and Devices Group.

Telstra says Elop is being appointed to the new role of Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy, “leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company” (stop giggling, you in the back row).

Telstra cites Elop's “deep technology experience” and “innate sense of customer expectations” (hint: customers still won't want Windows phones).

“The Technology, Innovation and Strategy portfolio brings together aligned lines of business including the Chief Technology Office, Chief Scientist, Telstra Software Group and Corporate Strategy with strong links into product development functions”, Telstra's capital-letter-heavy announcement states.

Elop will report directly to Telstra CEO Andrew Penn. ®

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