HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia NOK1V.HE, the world's top cellphone maker, said Stephen Elop, the head of Microsoft's MSFT.O Business Division, was to be its new chief executive, leading a renewed effort to compete in the smartphone market.
Elop will take over from Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on September 21.
The following are immediate comments from investors and analysts.
GREGER JOHANSSON, REDEYE
“I think that this is going to be seen as marginally positive.”
“I think that perhaps (Nokia chairman) Jorma (Ollila) could also need to be replaced as he is just as responsible (for the fall in shares) as Olli-Pekka. But maybe it isn’t sensible to do that at the same time (as changing the CEO).”
DAN STEINBOCK, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS RSEARCH DIRECTOR,
INDIA, CHINA AND AMERICA INSTITUTE
“The short-term impact of Mr Elop’s appointment may well be positive. With a strong industry background, global mindset, and intimate understanding of the North American marketplace, he could bring to Nokia the very assets and capabilities the company needs to appropriately respond to new challenges.”
“Despite a globally dominant market share, Nokia has not been as strong in the smartphone category. It remains strong globally, but weak in the United States; its toughest rivals are strong in the U.S., but weaker globally. In the next few months, the company hopes to deliver strong hit products and services. Global leadership in its business requires winning in the advanced and emerging markets; both are necessary for truly global leadership.”
BEN WOOD, HEAD OF RESEARCH AT CCS INSIGHT
“This brings to an end the ongoing speculation about OPK’s position. The appointment of a non-Finn marks a step change in Nokia’s leadership
“The announcement comes on the eve of Nokia World, the company’s most important annual event. This will undoubtedly be the biggest talking point at that event at a time when Nokia needed people to be focussing on its new products.”
JOHN STRAND, CEO OF STRAND CONSULT
“Nokia has a communication problem. Theres is no doubt that Stephen Elop is a better communicator than Kallasvuo.
“It is obvious that Nokia board, after a long and hard pressure have realised that Kallasvuo was a disaster regarding the way the world was looking at Nokia.”
HANNU RAUHALA, POHJOLA BANK
“These kind of announcements are always a surprise, but there has been speculation on the change.
“I do not know Elop. He has been developing services
concepts and if mobile phone business is moving into more services as Apple and Google are showing -- his background looks good.”
INGE HEYDORN, FUND MANAGER AT SENTAT ASSET MANAGEMENT
“It is good that something is happening. They have had problems for a long time and have been behind the curve on trends for the past few years. I think it could be good to get new influences, thoughts and ideas.”
SAMI SARKAMIES, NORDEA ANALYST
“It was not a total surprise, because in the latter half of July there were news stories in the international media about it. It was proved again, that these rumours were accurate.
“He (Elop) is not very well known in this part of
“My first impression is positive, his background
will help Nokia with its current challenges.
“He has a long background from software companies and software is where Nokia is going, but it needs more knowledge.”
“The challenges Nokia has faced in the last couple of years
are related to software and Elop will bring his experience and contacts.”
Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Compiled by Hans Peters
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