Recommended Reading – Open letter to Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new CEO: How to make Nokia great again, RCR Wireless

September 29, 2010

Now that Nokia has brought on Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft software executive, to be the new CEO, questions remain what he can do to revive the fortunes of Nokia.  I have not been one of Nokia’s fans of its latest CEO hire.  While Elop is really smart and effective executive, I am not convinced he was the right person for the job.  J. Gerry Purdy, PhD the Principal Analyst for Mobile Trax LLC has written a terrific piece in RCR Wireless outlining his ideas on exactly what Elop needs to do to be successful at the helm of Nokia.  According to Purdy,

… all is not well with Nokia as you walk in the door. While the volume of cell phone production is very high, it’s clearly not the right mix of models, software and services. And, while you were one of the first firms to develop a smart phone with the N95 in 2006, you have clearly fallen in the fast-growing smart phone segment, especially in the United States. Integrated multimedia smart phones are becoming the dominate handset device type in the developed world, and Nokia needs to get back to creating truly great and innovative products.

… There’s no way around the basic fact that you’ll have to make a number of major changes. You can’t keep designing products the way you have in the past. You can’t keep doing operating system software the way you have in the past. You can’t ignore major changes in the way people use their phones (highly integrated multimedia and almost all oriented toward touch screens). You have to rebuild from the ground up. You have to re-create a culture around Nokia being “cool” again. You can’t simply declare it. Rather, you have to actually do it.

Purdy goes on to make concrete suggestions on exactly what he thinks Elop needs to do including moving the corporate headquarters from Finland to the United States.  Many of his suggestions were right on target but the suggested HQ move is unrealistic for such an important Finnish firm.  Anyone interested in Nokia or the wireless industry should read Purdy’s entire piece.