Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

February 23, 2011

Nokia CEO Parts with His Microsoft Shares

Former Microsoft veteran Stephen Elop, who joined Nokia last September to become the first non-Finn to head the company, reportedly sold all his shares in Microsoft worth €1 million (about $1.4 million) and used the money for buying 150,000 shares in the Finnish mobile phone company.

The former Microsoft boss recently made news by calling his previous organization a “blazing oil rig.” Afterward, he went on to announce a major deal to switch Nokia (News - Alert) phones from their home-grown Symbian software to Microsoft's.

The decision came at a time when Nokia and Microsoft both are facing fierce competition from Apple (News - Alert) and Google. The demands for cheap smartphones are on the rise and there have been fears that Nokia will miss out on the market share during its transition from Symbian (News - Alert) to Microsoft platform.

But last week in a press release, Elop allayed these market sentiments by predicting that the price of smartphones using Microsoft's Windows Phone software platform would fall rapidly. Elop said a key topic in talks with Microsoft was convincing Nokia that it could reach "a very low price point."

“We have become convinced we can do that very quickly,” Elop said in a statement.

Trying to better compete with Apple's iPhone (News - Alert), Microsoft has so far had tight hardware requirements for phone models using its software. This significantly contributed to the pushing up of the handset prices and in turn, limited the potential market.

Now, Microsoft is tapping market opportunities by clearly lowering handset prices. As a part of this business strategy, Microsoft plans to open its mobile platform to other chipset suppliers beyond Qualcomm (News - Alert).

Elop said the final agreement with Microsoft would be signed in the next few months.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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