Tag Archives: CEO

An Open Letter to Stephen Elop

Mr. Elop, I’m sure by now you’ve read your fill of these opinion pieces.  Since your hiring by Nokia was announced, analyst after analyst has offered their view on how you can save the company from impending doom.  So I’m not going to regurgitate what’s already been tossed your way.

Instead, I’ll point out where they’re wrong.  Continue reading

Regime Change Management

I guess I was destined to get into change management in some form or fashion.  DNA alone got the ball rolling; manic creativity runs in the family, and creativity thrives on constant and profound change.

So I fit in well in engineering at Texas Instruments during the late 1980s to early 1990s, where change was the order of the day.  My first boss realized he needed to keep me challenged and so I wound up the de facto change order troubleshooter, chasing down busy managers whose signatures were required to keep some government-demanded product development or improvement on track.  Continue reading

Nokia CEO steps aside for former Microsoft exec

Note: this article was mentioned 4/4/2011 on twitter in order to stimulate follow-up discussion.

It hasn’t been that long since many pundits, self included, read the technology tea leaves and predicted the pressure on Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo would end in a change at the top.  Sure enough, I was just pointed to a MarketWatch article stating that OPK had resigned and was being replaced by Stephen Elop, a business executive coming from Microsoft.

I take neither pride nor delight in calling this one.  I was certainly not the first to bring it up, and as I’ve said I highly respected Mr. Kallasvuo.  But even if Nokia’s struggles the past few years were not his fault, directly or indirectly, it’s an unfortunate fact of the fast-paced business world that stockholders often need a sacrificial lamb in order to regain confidence.  CEOs, right or wrong, make the most obvious target.  Continue reading

Mobile CEO of the Year– or how to REALLY love your customers

When Corporate Executive Officers speak, everyone listens.  The only question is, what sort of reception do they enjoy?  Depends on the CEO of course.

Mobile CEOs tend to be a unique breed.  Brash, media-savvy and antenna-focused.  Like relative newcomer to the fold, Steve JobsHis Silicon Valley DNA made him perfect for Lord of the iStuff, so it should have come as no surprise to industry pundits when his zealous microguidance pushed the iPhone through any and all walls of resistance to success.  He didn’t have to rise up through the mobile ranks to achieve greatness there; he already possessed the necessary components, and so success in a new area was simply a matter of applying them appropriately.

But even as I objectively admire Jobs’ achievements, I still don’t care for his manipulative methods.  Continue reading

OPK on the way O-U-T?

Twitter buddy Jonathan (@atmasphere) Greene alerted me to a Wall Street Journal post today that claims Nokia is actively shopping for a new chief executive officer.  If true, this shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprising development.  The current CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (OPK), has been under fire for over a year now while Nokia has struggled against stiff competition, largely from Apple, RIM and various devices running Google’s Android.

OPK had been groomed by previous CEO Jorma Ollila for just that position, assuming the helm of the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer on 1 June, 2006.  It seemed the right decision at the time: from there until 2008 Nokia’s stock value rose as innovative devices were released even while the company reinvented itself with extreme reorganizations.

But the first two years of a new regime typically benefit from residuals of the one prior.  2008 to 2010 can’t be credited or blamed back to Ollila’s term.  Rather they provide the measurements for OPK’s performance, and the numbers aren’t good.  To get an idea, check this chart comparing Nokia’s stock to Apple’s over the past 5 years.  Or Nokia versus RIM.  The divergence at 2008 is remarkable… and humbling for Nokia.  And even though RIM hasn’t been exactly stellar, it’s still in the positive for the period. Continue reading

The bonus round

In this video President Obama lambasted corporate executives for accepting very tasty bonuses while simultaneously begging their customers (taxpayers) to shore them up so they can sell more stuff to them later.  Prior to that I read this optimistic Yahoo article claiming that corporate fat cats may soon be starved of such bonuses.

Anyone reading this blog lately knows I have been in full-bore cynical mode and nothing I have read has dimininished that one iota.  A large part of that is due to a Techpulse piece revealing how Yahoo’s current CEO is receiving an 8 million dollar “grant” in February 2009 even as the company flounders close to nonviability and employees see their pay frozen.  Sure, this is an old story we’ve seen play out countless times but the distance between CEO arrogance and employee hardship hasn’t been this great since 1929.

Continue reading