Nokia CEO: “We’re standing on a burning platform”

A leaked memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to employees gives a damning appraisal of the mobile device makers current market positioning.

The memo was obtained by gadget site Engadget, which says its authenticity has been corroborated by “multiple trusted sources”.

In it, former Microsoft executive Elop, who joined the company in September 2010, laments its failure to produce a viable competitor to Apple’s iPhone. “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience,” he writes.

He also mentions Google’s increasing influence in the mobile sphere. “Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry’s innovation to its core.”

“While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia?” he writes. “We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time. At that time, we thought we were making the right decisions; but, with the benefit of hindsight, we now find ourselves years behind.”

The leaked memo heightens anticipation for Friday’s investor conference in London, where it will launch its new strategy. “When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company,” Elop writes. “But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us."

Click here to read the entire memo.

That smartphones have become a critical component of IT infrastructure was demonstrated by market researcher IDC this week. It found that in the last quarter of 2010, smartphones outsold PCs for the first time.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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