Nokia's CEO Calls for 'Radical Change'

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 02-09-2011 Print
A document written by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to employees describes a do-or-die scenario necessitating a "radical change in behavior."

It's time for a "radical change" at Nokia, new company CEO, Stephen Elop emphatically insisted in an internal note to employees, posted Feb. 8 by Engadget and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. A Jerry McGuire-style, 1,200-plus-word manifesto, the document arrives just days before Elop's Feb. 11 date with investors in London, where he is scheduled to detail his plans for turning around the phone maker, which last quarter lost its long-held title as the world's leading smartphone platform to Google's Android.

In the document, Elop offers an anecdote of a fisherman forced to choose between the burning platform he's standing on and the frigid, dark waters of the North Sea. Circumstances caused by Nokia's own poor decisions have put the company in a position, the document suggests, where it similarly must either do something previously unthinkable or else be consumed.  

"How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved?" Elop said in the document, continuing:

This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning.

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