The recent replacement of Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo by Stephen Elop, and Anssi Vanjoki’s departure so soon after his appointment as Mobile Solutions Leader, is being met with anticipation and concern equally. With the shakeup happening on the eve of the company’s most important Nokia World, it feels as if the Old Nokia is leaving place for a New Nokia to be born.
Earlier this year, we suggested 7 ways Nokia can win again. We believe there is no better time than now for these changes to happen. However, the question remains whether the company can win the trust of shareholders and the public.
Can Elop bring sexy back?
The recent announcements of promotion with Pamela Anderson, partnership with Yahoo and demos of Meego have all failed to ignite the public’s interest. Nokia has been criticized for not having a vision and lacking a Steve Jobs. With the departure of Vanjoki, can Elop sell a credible and powerful vision?
What will happen in Finland?
Nokia’s importance in Finland cannot be underestimated: it accounts for 1.5% of its GDP, and nearly 60,000 jobs. Elop commented: "This is the home of Nokia, it will continue to be the home of Nokia, and I just love being in these facilities," Elop said. "At the same time recognizing that while it is a Finnish company, it is also a global company, and there are employees and partners and customers of Nokia all over the world."
What will happen to the Finnish jobs and the companies that collaborate with Nokia?
Is Symbian dead?
Vanjoki was seen as one of the main evangelists of Symbian. At the same time, the platform has been perceived as one of the main reasons for Nokia’s lag in the smartphone market. With the N8 receiving mixed reviews, will Nokia focus on Meego, leverage Android’s existing ecosystem and user base, or partner with Microsoft?
What of Nokia’s older service offering?
Ovi is a notoriously difficult platform to develop for and sell on. The company also decided to pull the plug on Ovi Files last week. Dopplr is dying through stagnation, and Nokia comes with Music is being severely undermined by Spotify on the European market. Will these services be maintained? Will there be more cooperation with young and promising startups? There has been a significant lack of innovation from Nokia’s service offering. Will they be improved?
Is Nokia for sale?
The shakeup indicates a drastic change of course for the company, in contrast with veterans such as OPK who joined in 1982. The possibility of a merger or partnership with Microsoft doesn’t seem so farfetched. Would the company’s strengths in engineering, manufacturing and distributing phones internationally be an asset for a software giant?
This is Tabula Rasa. One thing is for sure: there hasn’t been so much buzz and speculation about the company in years.