Stephen Elop To Leave Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that Stephen Elop will be leaving the company. It's a tame end to the tenure of the man who was briefly tipped as the next Microsoft CEO. Since Elop took over Microsoft's hardware division has seen some improvement, notably in the Surface line, however as Microsoft has demonstrated that hardware sales are a secondary consideration in its future, Elop's management of that division was always going to be hamstrung.

Elop's legacy will be the mobile phone division, which Microsoft acquired for Nokia at great expense. Many claim that he was a Trojan Horse, despatched to the Finnish company to decimate it in order to facilitate a cut price buy for Microsoft.

I don't buy that. Nokia had screwed the pooch with its own in-fighting, navel contemplating and refusal to develop products that customers wanted. When Elop arrived the company was all but finished. 

Was the decision to switch to Windows Phone the right one? Probably not, with the benefit of hindsight. However the logic used at the time (that Samsung would eat all of the Android market and profits) was solid and prescient. Windows Phone was Hobson's choice when a decision had to be made.

What Elop will be most remembered for though, is his Burning Platform memo, which set out to Nokia employees just how much trouble the company was in and why. It pulled no punches and sugared the pill not at all. 

It's still an impressive read now.


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