'Burning' memo from Nokia's CEO sets stage for OS shake-up
IDG News Service - Nokia CEO Stephen Elop compared the company's current situation to standing on a burning oil platform in the North Sea. Nokia must decide how it is going to change its behavior, or perish in the flames as its platform burns, Elop wrote in a memo to employees.
Two Nokia employees who asked that their names not be used confirmed the existence of the memo to the IDG News Service. The website Engadget published what it says is the full contents of the memo, which pulls no punches about Nokia's dire situation and past failures.
Nokia hired Elop, its first non-Finnish CEO, in September 2010, luring him away from his job as head of Microsoft's Business Division. The company's board was widely seen to be searching for a turn-around CEO.
The memo doesn't explicitly say that Nokia will get rid of existing software platforms and adopt either Windows Phone 7 or Android when it announces its new strategy on Friday, but the writing is on the wall, according to analysts. Elop includes that possibility in a short list of alternatives he sees for Nokia.
"The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things," the memo says. "Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyze or join an ecosystem.
"This is one of the decisions we need to make. In the meantime, we've lost market share, we've lost mind share and we've lost time."
The memo opens with Elop recounting a "pertinent story" that is an obvious reference to the Piper Alpha oil platform explosion in the North Sea in July of 1988. A man awakes to a loud explosion and finds the "entire" platform on fire and must make the awful decision either to be consumed by fire or plunge into the "dark, cold foreboding" waters. "We too, are standing on a 'burning platform,' and we must decide how we are going to change our behavior," according to the memo as published at Engadget.
Elop goes on to say that the Symbian opering system has proved to "be non-competitive in leading markets like North America." Also, the company is finding it difficult to rapidly develop new products with the latest hardware features. "As a result, if we continue like before, we will get further and further behind," the memo says.
- Microsoft exec doesn't rule out Intel-based Windows Phones
- LG backs off Windows Phone for now, report says
- Carriers desperately seeking Windows Phone
- Review: Nokia Lumia 900 puts Windows Phone back in the race
- Microsoft spins Android malware into Windows Phone giveaway
- Microsoft pursues webOS devs, offers free phones
- First Windows Mango Phone unveiled
- Windows Phone OS Mango sent to manufacturers, carriers
- Ballmer: Windows Phone 7 not successful yet
- Microsoft offers developers early access to Windows Phone Mango
- What is this "File Sync" Thing and Why Should I Care About It? All of a sudden, getting a file from your work laptop to your iPad became as simple as clicking "Save." So it's no...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator...
- Technology for Everyone A Kansas school district modernizes teaching and learning and paves the way to a one-to-one program with a comprehensive upgrade of its wireless... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts