A report on London’s The Sunday Times revealed that Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, is in the shortlist to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO. Not only that, but the daily also stated that Elop is one of the frontrunners for the soon-to-be vacant position.
The first non-Finn to be CEO of Nokia, Elop was drafted in to the struggling company and was infamous for his “burning platform” memo, which preceded Nokia’s drastic and controversial shift from its Symbian and MeeGo platforms to Microsoft’s Windows Phone. The company has continued to struggle since then, with the Windows Phone platform still to convince many as a fully-viable alternative to Android and iOS.
On the other hand, Elop is also credited with making the most out of the resources at his disposal at Nokia, and while the decision to jump to the Windows Phone platform was highly unpopular among the Nokia purists, the platform today is still the third largest ecosystem in the industry.
Nevertheless, the news is set to trigger another round of conspiracy theories. Elop was a Microsoft executive prior to his appointment as CEO of Nokia, and many saw the shift to Windows Phone to be the first step of Microsoft’s eventual buy-out of Nokia. On top of that, Elop has also previously worked with Ballmer at Microsoft, which should provide conspiracy theorists with more fodder.
On the other hand, The Sunday Times also reported that Microsoft Executive Vice President and former President of Skype, Tony Bates, as well as former Microsoft exec Paul Maritz are also in contention. Given that Ballmer’s retirement announcement was only posted last Friday, it is almost certain that the recruitment process is still in its infancy, with more concrete news to come in the months ahead.