Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly on “short list” to replace Ballmer at Microsoft

It was only on Friday that Microsoft announced that current CEO Steve Ballmer would be exiting the company in the next twelve months, but that hasn’t stopped the media from speculating on who will replace him. The Sunday Times of London is now reporting that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who used to work under Ballmer as a senior executive—something that always bothered Nokia advocates who saw him as threat to the Finnish phone maker—as one of the favorites for the position.

One could argue that Elop does have the skills to turn around companies who are seemingly set on a wrong course, though he doesn’t come without controversy either. Many former Nokia supporters have consistently called for his ouster since his famous burning platform memo, which called for drastic change within the company for it to survive.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

The Sunday Times also goes on to mention Skype manager Tony Bates and former CEO of VMware Paul Maritz (who was previously at Microsoft), as other candidates. But perhaps the most interesting rumored entrant is none other than Bill Gates himself, though the Times does not back that claim and indeed, it seems highly unlikely.

Who will replace Ballmer at Microsoft will surely be one of the most interesting stories in 2014 but we’re still a ways off from an official announcement. The question is, if Elop leaves for Microsoft, who will take over at Nokia?

Source: Sunday Times of London (opens in new tab); via Fox Business; Thanks, Nishy, for the tip

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Lord Almighty Stephensus Elopssiah.
    Were not worthy, save the mobile industry! We worship you! Eliminate Evildroid and iCrap!
  • Granted!
  • if elop becomes CEO, he will speed up the things as he did with Nokia :) Also, it will save WP OS industry as well... Ballmer is a Sales guy, he doesn't deserve to be Microsoft CEO.......... Steve jobs was right.... Bill Gates handled it very well, but Ballmer ruined it :( I'm damn sure Elop will bring Microsoft UP! :) Also, Scott forstall should replace Elop if Elop becomes CEO of Microsoft... :)
  • Or we see a Microsoft/Nokia merge
  • I do think MS merging with Nokia if Elop becomes CEO....
  • That i would like but i really like elop at nokia and i think a new ceo there would dump wp as a first letter of bussiness and adopt android or at least do android as well (which i also dont want) Elop would be good for Microsoft, but unless you get a pro microsoft ceo into Nokia after, wp is dead....
  • Nokia going Android would be stupid. WP is growing and growing and Nokia is pushing it into the right direction.
  • If Elop leaves Nokia, WP will be phased out slowly. Or at least Android will be top priority and WP will slowly be put in the background like HTC is reportedly doing.
  • At this point there is no reason for Nokia to enter the crowded Android ecosystem. It is not like big names over there are filling their pockets with money. Nokia is only one quarter behind Sony in sales, and has a faster growth rate than Sony in the mobile division right now. One or two quarters from now Nokia will be making more smartphones than Sony.
    Sony is not doing great. HTC is a mess. Motorola faded into oblivion (and their recent product, Moto X, has disappointed). Only Samsung and Apple are making serious cash and carriers reportedly like a thrid option, and Nokia is starting to come back again. Add to that the fact that Nokia has a 5 year contract with Microsoft.
    The situation is not as simple as you describe. If the board members were seriously against Elop's decision they would have fired him.
  • Nokia is still under contract with Microsoft to develop solely for Windows Phone. The breakup fee would probably cost Nokia so much that they would need to be bought or sell some more assets.
  • +1
  • I don't think Ballmer was the weak link in the last 13 years. If we look at RIM, we can say that the co-CEO's probably were not the weak links either. Both appeared to want to license BlackBerry's software but investors ended up ruining the show. I truly beleive the same went on at Microsoft until one day Ballmer finally decided enough was enough.
    I think over the next year or two we will being to understand why Ballmer is leaving and what really lead Microsoft down this troublesome road. Fortunately they appear to be on their way back to the top again.
  • Really!  the INVESTORS ruined RIM?  Which of the former co-CEO's who refused to add cameras, go to touch screens or develop a proper Smartphone instead of a just a fancy Pager with a keyboard do you work for?
    The CEO's of RIM killed RIM, with the help of a feckless Board of Directors who refused to read them the riot act. Cozy do-nothing Boards have allowed the CEO position to morph from one where the job was to implement a vision sanctioned by the Board into self-important egotistical blowhards who claim to be Geniuses, until they fail, at which point they claim they weren't responsible for anything.
    Balmer approved the launch of Vista. Let Windows Mobile die untended and in the process lost entirely their lead in mobile technology, both phones and Tablets. Their Cloud services are only now becoming competitive, despite their lead in these technologies, well before Google saw their cluelessness and jumped in. And Zune - well, what can one say about that hot mess!
    Only the XBox, and Enterprise software were well done under Balmer.  Enough to keep the place alive but he leaves with MS lagging in all the critical markets of the furture except gaming.  Not a good track record.  Add to that MS well deserved reputation for being slow, conservative and full of feifdoms that work to kill of other Princes projects that threaten them even if they were the best things for the Company, and its complete inability to create a Brand with a positive image in Consumer's eyes and you are left with the conclusion that the only reason Balmer lasted as long as he has is his close personal friendship with Gates.  Pretty much the same way that RIM's co-CEO's managed to hang on long enough to ruin the Company they built, Balmer is well past his best-before date.
  • Scott Forstall??? OMG the Apple Maps fiasco was placed right at his doorstep! People could start getting lost too while using HERE Maps if he becomes CEO of Nokia! And he could be a mole for Apple too so I'm NO to Scott Forstall!
  • Elop should become msft CEO and buy Nokia for Microsoft :P
    Then he stays at both, and the wp updates will be as fast as on iShit!
  • Elop and Balmer should just exchange positions.
  • If that did happen the haters would come out in full force.
  • When are the haters not out in full force?
  • Right.
  • True.
  • Indubitably.
  • *checks thesaurus* um...ditto?
  • Nokia needs Elop real bad. A new CEO may rock the WP as a platform boat - and start looking at Android or even Symbian? That would be a disaster for Nokia and maybe WP as well.
  • It might be the step for Microsoft to acquire Nokia
  • Exactly my idea as well! If Mr. Elop was to become the CEO of Microsoft, why not purchase Nokia, combine two companies to one and there you go, the biggest threat to Apple and Samsung and Google in terms of ecosystem, mobile OS development and hardware design. Together with the reorganisation of Microsoft, that combined force could do a lot of good stuff to the WP platform and double the pace when it comes to development and innovation. Look at how quickly Nokia developped the L1020 and L928, if they have the Software innovation ánd the hardware innovation under one roof, the company could be unstoppable in the near future... Just my two cents :)
  • Because that's one more thing Microsoft will be spending bucket loads of cash on and not getting and immediate return. Now this would be fine if this were a one-off case but it'll be far from it. Already the dumb investors are out in full force because their $2000 haven't turned into $5000 over the past 5 years. Hard to compete and innovate properly in a business like that. Plus, the challenge will be a lot more varied than what Elop has been facing (not to mention that he still hasn't completely pulled out Nokia from the red) - he'll have to adopt not just to mobile sectors but also try to get ahead in the PC space, services department, strengthen the business sector and make sure the Xbox One doesn't get the same treatment as the PS3. One hell of a job if you ask me.
  • IT would be my guess that Microsoft Buying Nokia (post NSN IPO) is being worked out right now.  No telling if it will happen, but we know that the two were in talks in June that ended.  I think the new news of Balmer departure reignites this talk and with the merger Elop would become Devies president or CEO of all Microsoft.
    The few months will tell.  If we see a NSN IPO, look out!
  • After two years, what has MS done with Skype after buying it for $8 billion?
  • It would put both companies at same speed. That is not really good for business. Nokia in one way or another, puts some pressure on Microsoft, that is what's going to drive WP.
  • Or may be MS sell their WP business to Nokia :D
  • I hope Elop stays with Nokia, but you almost feel he was sent there as a test of how he'd do as the CEO. Going well i'd say.
    Nokia could then get Sinofsky or have a swap with MS and Joe Belfiore could take over, he seems to love going to Finland. Would keep WP strong within Nokia and continue the (hopefully) improvements in speed of getting updates out for the system.
  • Elop must stay on Nokia. He can go to MS, only if Redmond is willing to buy the finnish company. Otherwise I fear for nokia and our windows phones. Last meeting, some invoked that cursed name, the name that we should not talk , even think about it.
    The robot, the bugdroid, that green trash bin...
  • Lord Voldemort?....d'oh, I said it!
  • hahaha
  • Exactly. MS would be idiots to appoint Elop unless they first bought Nokia. A new Nokia CEO wouldn't necessarily be committed to WinPhone like Elop is - and clearly the entire WP ecosystem is being driven by that commitment.
  • Could either be a stroke of genius or a complete balls up. No idea which
  • Probably not Bill Gates. As awesome as it would be to see him return to Microsoft, he's doing something better at the moment. 
  • his wife?
  • Aw, snap!
  • No thanks. The sour taste of 90s Microsoft is still pretty fresh.
  • Says the mighty Google lover. I'd love for the 90s Microsoft to come back and dish out the same treatment Google has been giving people for a while. Would certainly level the playing field a bit.
  • So much this. +925 my friend
  • Well...Gates never really left. He's like Her Majesty the Queen of England. He rules...but not really.
  • except of he is the right opposite of the queen.. he is not in charge but clearly has the word behind the scenes where the queen is celebrated as the person in charge with her only connection to the UK is spending the money 
  • What you said is not correct at all...but I assume you're a Republican =P (in the correct meaning of the word and not as in "a supporter of the US Republican party").
  • so.. please tell me.. what part of the governmant is the queen actually the head and what are her duties to rule the country
  • DJCBS is correct; you clearly do not understand how the British Monarchy functions.  I'll save you a step and provide a link for you to educate yourself, as it is not DJCBS's responsibility to remedy your educational shortcomings:
  • thanks for that. did you read it yourself? what does the page say about the duties again? "The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service."
  • I did.  I meant for you to read more than that exact page.  If you follow the link on the left called "The role of the Sovereign", you would have seen this:
    "There are inward duties, with The Queen playing a part in State functions in Britain. Parliament must be opened, Orders in Council have to be approved, Acts of Parliament must be signed, and meetings with the Prime Minister must be held.
    There are also outward duties of State, when The Queen represents Britain to the rest of the world. For example, The Queen receives foreign ambassadors and high commissioners, entertains visiting Heads of State, and makes State visits overseas to other countries, in support of diplomatic and economic relations."
    I should note that I am a republican (not a supporter of the US party, but one who believes that Heads of State should be elected).  But the Queen does do something--as Head of State, not Head of Government.  
  • Well.. you just got owned by allos.
  • oh yes..because anyone would believe the queen is ruling a country or could do more than just say hello to people. 
  • Giving money to charity is a full time occupation?
  • He actively runs his charity. He doesn't just give money.
  • No shit. He does, and has done, more good in his life than 99.99% of the population ever would (or could for that matter).
    Bill Gates is a hero of mine, and he deserves nothing but respect for creating the worlds best hardware/software giant.
    And fuck Apple and Google.
  • Hope not! As much as it pains me to admit it, Elop's needed at Nokia. Let Belfiore take the reins over at MS.
  • i agree
  • Agree with first part but belfiore for MS top job is just silly. He is not even the main man for WP and I think he is more of an engineer rather than a manager.
  • And that's what they need right now.
    They need an engineer making the decisions.
  • Exactly. Joe has really nice hair.
  • Joe would match well with the Xbox division as well. Has that trendy avatar look. Isn't he more a designer though?
  • I do not think he should be considered.  He is a technical guru to run MS in my opinion.  They need to bring back Steve Sinsofsky.
  • I thought about that as well, but would Steven be willing to come back? Or was this the plan all along? Isn't he still consulting with MS on Win 8?
  • IMO, MS is too arrogant and out to touch to make a bold decision such as that.
  • Sinosfsky?  No thanks.  He's the master of silos.  Didn't work well with other divisions.  That whole silo culture is why you didn't see the Zune software migrate and become XBox Music... we had the chance for a top notch music expierence on our WP8 phones and W8, but got left with crap on a stick.
  • I agree wholeheartedly! Fissures will develop in MS if Sinofsky comes back as CEO.
  • crazy
  • Elop is actually a perfect candidate for CEO of Microsoft, but I'm not sure if he'll leave. I think Elop won't be satisfied with leaving Nokia until he totally turns things around and returns them to profitability. Most leaders love challenging roles, and overcoming those challenges. Nokia is that for Stephen at the moment. Of course, the salary could be incentive enough for him to focus on another challenge, but I truly think which ever company Elop decides to focus his efforts, that company will benefit. If he does go over to Microsoft, I'd be a bit worried about Nokia. Elop seems to be doing a fine job at Nokia thus far.
  • +1. I couldnt agree more. As for the haters mentioned in the article, I am not surprised. Nokia wasnt willing to embrace change and here comes an outsider who forces (necessary) change on them, not suprising that people dont like him.
  • Its perfectly ok be disliked by some as long as the actions you take produce the desired effect. It has probably taken a little longer than he hoped but the ship has been righted and the direction is showing positive results.
  • Completely agree. He already been arguably the number two guy at MSFT already. This little stint at Nokia could have been simply a prep for the move up. Cannot beleive I didn't consider this already.
    Will be interesting times.
  • Not doubting his competence but it'll be a much harder job than turning Nokia around and he still hasn't done that completely. Purely on stats alone, he hasn't really performed that well so I'm not too sure how he becomes a great choice for the position with investors already crowing about the usual stuff. The challenge for the new guy will be to overhaul operations in almost all sectors, speed up things and add more cohesion within Microsoft. Wayyyy different than turning a stricken handset maker around. He's a credible and competent guy but I fail to see what tangible quality makes him "the perfect guy" for this situation.
  • In order for him to go Microsoft would need to buy a controlling stake in Nokia to prevent them from going stupid after he leaves.
  • +1030
  • Great! :) I think  Elop will be Best suitable for this job :) that will help Nokia as well .......
  • Oh god no. Elop should focus on Nokia.
  • if all the stars aligned, this would happen and MS buys Nokia. That would be one hell of a comeback in the consumers eyes!
  • No thanks. The last thing you need is the sluggish MS bureaucracy controlling the agile Nokia's direction. Please, lets just hope Nokia stays independent doing what they do best - churning out good phones.
  • They're remaking the classic Eddie Murphy film, "Trading Places". Ballmer goes to Nokia to sale, sale, sale; Elop comes to MS to oversee the surface hardware design team moving MS closer to its dream of becoming a true devices & services company
  • Do they both end up dressing as Rastafarians on a train?
  • No, Ballmer dresses like a Rastafarian.  Elop would be the exchange student from Cameroon.  Beef Jerky, anyone?
  • There's plenty, you know!
  • No, sonny, gives me the winds.
  • hahahaha.
  • Nokia needs Elop right now. Unless Microsoft buys Nokia, Elop stays. If Redmond does indeed buy Nokia, then make Elop CEO!
  • MS needs Bill Gates back.
  • +920
  • Ya Bill .. Stop dicking around and get back to business where you belong ..
  • Please no. Seriously, that would be a horrible idea.
  • * Bill envisioned smartphones before fancy iPhone was "reinvented".
    * Bill envisioned tablet computers before Jobs enlarged the iPhone to call it a tablet.
    * Bill envisioned PCs at home when everybody was thinking about tank sized computers.
    Now if you were not a kid 10 years ago you do know what I'm talking about :)
  • Are we talking about the same vision for tablet computers that led to a poor UI on a device that didn't have an option for a stylus but needed one? And are we also talking about Windows Mobile? He had visions, but execution never really panned out for him. But, really, my biggest thing is that he had his time. He started the ball rolling, now we need somebody with a more modern mindset. Bill Gates would not be a good choice today.
  • I think Satya Nadella would be better than S. Elop, T. Bates and R. Hastings (who I read was also in the running).
  • Elop leaving Nokia could mean bad news for WP exclusivity, this was his vision, might not be shared by others
  • I think Tony Bates is the best choice...but that's MY uninformed opinion, honest, humble and lovable. =P
  • Were Stephen Elop to go to Microsoft, I think it would be great news for the WP department. I mean, since he works at Nokia, he knows how important it is for Microsoft to do some work for the mobile platform they put Nokia in charge of...
  • Hoping Hastings Reed or Stephen Elop take over Microsoft.  Both have demonstrated excellent public personalities unlike Ballmer; and risk-taking decision making with profound changes to their respective companies.
  • Totally agree with you.
    I see Reed Hastings the most likely outsider but if they really want Stephen Elop they can get him.
    I think both would do WONDERS for the org. Netflix proved Hastings can build a full customer experience and Elop knows how to turn around a company on the verge of collapse.
    I can't decide who would be better but both get my vote.
  • Ballmer will replace Elop at Nokia.  Instead of 'developers, developers, developers!' it will be 'colors, colors, colors, colors!'
  • I see what you did there haha good one!
  • He is certainly capable but Nokia needs him more than Microsoft. Its not fair to Nokia and I believe he will stay with Nokia unless Microsoft acquires them.
    Also, this article is just speculation like many tech other blogs did.
  • Makes sense. After all, he was a former Microsoft director.
    But mark my words: the moment Ellop leaves, Nokia goes Android. The other members of the Board at Nokia wanted that since they decided to go to smartphones. Doesn't mean Nokia will abandon WP. Just that it won't be so focused on it.
  • The Board approved WP move, Elop couldn't make that decision himself. Share holders were upset, but the Board approved the move.
  • Elop has the majority of the board because he's the bigger share holder. Once he's gone, so are the board member who supported him. Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear.
  • You ssem to forget something my friend - the exclusivity deal. And I badly hope Nokia stays at WP :|
  • Believe me, there are ways to go around that. Besides, I think there's nothing in the agreement regarding the replacement of Symbian. Do you have access to the text of the deal? Is it actually written or was a gentlemen's agreement?
  • I believe I read a few important senntences of that deal somewhere online. For all I know the only way out of the deal is if the backing out is mutual. Just like Nokia cannot back out, neither can MS. And it specifically mentions that WP can be the only 'smartphone' OS that Nokia can use in the period. Thats why Nokia is free to make Asha phones, but no non-WP smartphones. And it wasnt a gentleman's agreement - it was a legally binding one.
  • Again, I would need to see the actual agreement. Still, there are ways around it. The remaining share holders can always claim that MS didn't do their part of the deal by not properly developing the OS etc etc. And what if the deal stated WP7? We had to see it.
    Anyway, there are always ways to get out of that without any loss. And then there's the economical perspective. If the board comes to the conclusion that any money they lose by breaking the agreement will be compensated by the increase of sales of phones with Android, they may even don't mind to lose money.
  • If indeed there are plans to make Elop CEO of MS, you can be sure that Elop and his board are also planning who to put in his place at Nokia. You can be sure that if Elop divests his big shares in Nokia, it will go to someone who will keep the light burning.
  • You cannot call yourself a real Nokia fan if you were upset about burning platform memo. I used Nokia devices exclusively all my life, and that memo was a breath of fresh air because any normal person would admit that Symbian was burying Nokia alive.
  • Same feeling here. Just recently I got to choose between Nokia X7 and HTC Mozart for my test purpose device, I pick the Mozart after having few minutes of testing. I admit I like the design of X7 over Mozart but then the symbian can't really cut it. I have a tough time navigating around symbian ui on X7 while Mozart even with the old WP7 still feeling smooth enogh and easier to handle. The fact is WP7.5 brings me back to Nokia after 2 years with several brands of android.
  • I honestly was a big Nokia fan before, but finally left because I couldn't stand Symbian anymore. But now I'm back as a big Nokia fan!
  • I would love this! But I would be worried for Nokia hopefully he would like merge Nokia and microsoft
  • How about MS just goes ahead and smartly buys Nokia and then names Elop CEO? Twelve months would give them time to finalize. Maybe that's what the 'secret' Nokia shareholder meetings were about last month. Love rumors!
  • Those were about the acquisition of Siemens's part of NSN.
  • What if the NSN Siemens discussion was the (as Denzel Washington would say) "decoy", a distraction so that they could finalize thier talks without leaks going around to all the tech circles, and so they could hold a separate, secret meeting every time to work out the details of Microkia's inception...
    takes off the conspiracy hat
    Yeah no they were probably just meetings about NSN lolz
  • That would be great IMO also. You sir are a smart guy!
  • Was thinking someone from Nokia would be a good fit as Microsoft CEO. Elop sounds good to me if he can also strengthen Nokia's partnership with Microsoft. Personally I'd like to see Microsoft purchase Nokia to solidify their mobile strategy.
  • Let Microsoft buy majority share of Nokia and make Elop CEO so he controls both companies. This way Nokia will get priority and Nokia will be in charge of WP.
  • The Finnish government will never allow that. Thank God.
  • You mean the Finnish government would rather that Nokia gets bought by Lenovo? There was a time when the rumor about that was so thick yet not a peep from the Finnish government.
  • I'm not so sure I like the idea of MS purchasing Nokia either. It seems as though for most here it would just be a move to spite other manufacturers like HTC and Samsung (who primarily produce Android devices). Ultimately I think it would stifle competition and innovation in addition to hurting Microsoft's profit margins, which they are currently trying to reverse. Also, I don't know if such a move would positively affect Nokia's position in the rest of the world where the majority of its consumer base is.
  • If he comes he LL combine nokia with required,material of wp8 quite soon!!
  • Hope for d best!!
  • That would be a great thing for Microsoft but what about Nokia? This is iffy..
  • The Sunday Times is just summing up names that have been mentioned a gazillion times since Ballmer announced his exit. Elop would be a perfect candidate, problem is that Nokia needs him more than Microsoft at this point.
  • I vote Rubino.
  • Seconded! Rubino for CEO!
  • Thirded!! RUBINOsoft ftw
  • Elop must to stay, Nokia needs him bad and I love Nokia as an independent company and brand.As much as I love wp, would hate Nokia under Microsoft's banner.
    Btw Dan ,what your thought? You think Elop being CEO at microsoft would be good for Nokia?
  • Get bill back!
  • Without elop, Nokia is finished and without Nokia, WP is finished.
  • I think Mr Elop is a better motivator and more liked than Mr Balmer within their respective companies.
    Plus Mr Elop is a media darling, friendly, articulate, knowledgeable.
  • Bring in Tim Cook. Seriously. The guy had the chops to bring Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad to market in a clearly well-executed and timed manner. He just needs a company with loads of innovation, i.e. Microosft, to pull that magic off again.
  • No. Actually Microsoft should bring in Larry Page. The guy had the ability to bring Android and lots of other Privecy-robbeers into market, and still gain world of reputation over G-fans.
  • This is what everyone was saying would happen from the beginning of the elop conspiracy that was all over the blogs at the time of his takeover..this was all a planned coo for Nokia to be owned by Microsoft.
  • paul thurrot seems to think satya nadella would be a good candidate.
  • Purely speculative at this point.
  • Not a bad idea. 
    MSFT should just buy Nokia (other OEM's are already falling off the map with Windows Phone). 
    Then MSFT gets fresh blood with a new 'mobile-first' CEO, and it's own handset manufacturer. 
  • Only one person, with a proven CEO track record, beloved by his former associates, board members, trade partners, stockholders and customers, fits the bill: former SAP & Hewlett Packard chief executive officer, LEO APOTHEKER!
    A bold man for a bold company needing boldness!  Besides, his $30 million golden parachute (earned after 51 weeks on the job) must be running out by now....
  • Lmao, nice hilarity
  • i would like to see Elop as CEO, it would spped up the process for WP. how about our man mr. joe belfiore?
  • I feel Elop shoudnt leave Nokia at this moment when Nokia is towards success. If he leaves then the best option for Nokia to survive will be merger with Microsoft
  • Maybe Microsft will buy Nokia and Elop will become the CEO of the new Microkia :)
  • They should merge nokia/msft and have nokia engineering take over windows and WINDOWSPHONE.. We all nokia will do better job than the current team.. They just too damn slow!!
  • We need Bill Gates for 2-3 years. He is a genius, he understands how important WP8 is. He knows what NT on which it is based can do. He can turn WP into a hard hitting mobile OS with all the missing features we all need and maintain MS in the OS game.
  • Elop to MS; Bates to Nokia.  
  • So, here's the plan. We're gonna clone Elop so he can stay at Nokia and can head Microsoft.
  • Since MS wants to become a hardware and software company. I say buyout Nokia mobile division bring elop back to MS and make him CEO. This way you a forward thinking CEO and the best mobile OEM in the world.
  • Never happen. Relax everyone
  • Gosh I hope that elop doesn't go to Microsoft because I will be sad to see if a post elop Nokia will go android.
  • Elop for President!!!
  • If Elop leaves Nokia, fear not: I will take over. How hard can it possibly be? If you fail, you take the golden parachute and land a new CEO job. The position of CEO today is a joke and anyone with any business sense can do it. Look at Gates. What exactly made him qualified as a businessman? Nothing. He just had some business sense and drive for success. I have those things and will run Nokia for half the cost! ;)
  • I have those things too, and I will run Nokia for 1/4 the cost!
  • NokiaMicrosoft
  • That'd be quite the promotion lol
  • Where do I send my resume!
  • Who will take over at Nokia? Elop.
    MS and Nokia should be one company.
  • I hope its someone from google....maybe they can finally get along
  • MS need Elop inside nokia....unless they merge  i have a feeling satya nadella will be MS next CEO
  • Even though I think Steven Elop is a great CEO, I think its the wrong move to make. Wrote a little editorial;
  • MS buys Nokia = win
  • It would be a nice change. Elop is a man that is not afraid of taking risks. I also believe that he resurrected Nokia from its life support. For example, a few years ago I never believed that I would a Nokia phone before in my life. Now I have a L920 and it is a great phone.
  • Elop CEO of Microsoft + Nokia + Blackberry would be the perfect match
  • Personally, I don't think it is a good idea for Microsoft to buy Nokia. The main reason why I say this is because it will damage the current relation between Microsoft and other phone makers. When Microsoft came out with Surface, all the computer makers was against it because they saw it as eating into their pie. Microsoft had their own reason for doing it and I don't blame them. But at the same time, I don't think the computer makers really had a choice in the matter. The cell phone industry is quite different, meaning Microsoft is not the only game in town. If Microsoft upsets other partners too much, they may drop Windows Phone all together.
    Just my $0.02...
  • That would be cool. ;-)
  • +920:)
  • I really wouldn't mind if Elop left Nokia. As far a MS buying Nokia? I don't see it happening as the Asha line is a big part of Nokia. Hoping that IF Elop does leave, Nokia can bring back Symbian or meego or a spinoff of the two.
  • Brace up people, these are interesting times.
  • This would be interesting and big.  Odd that some reports indicate Ballmer's departure as more sudden than planned... given Elop's history with Microsoft/ Nokia. 
  • That would be wonderful news and a big win for Microsoft, but a sad loss for Nokia. Elop is one of the few CEOs that have visions and can communicate welll with the press.
  • I don't see Elop leaving Nokia anytime soon.  Short list or not, he still has to accept the position.  Granted he is one of the few people who would be able to keep up with the sheer scope of Microsoft. 
    If Elop left Nokia, Im pretty damn sure that whoever takes Nokia's CEO position is going to rearranged the ship and introduce Android or maybe ressurect Meego while letting WP just kind of idle, wither and probably die off.  I doubt they'll just drop WP straight up, but introducing the other OS's would most likely just push WP off to the side.
    What would be funny is if Elop had been right all along and the introduction of Android and/or Meego doesnt help increase share and/or profits much more than WP had been doing on its own.
    With that said, if Elop did leave for MS, the need for a Surface phone would probably be much more crucial to WP's survival.
  • Nokia is doing well so far. I think they have succeeded in making themselves stand out. The camera and hardware make a good combo. Da only missing element is the OS, and i believe the alliance with Windows phone will solve that in due time bt it is heavily dependent on the CEOs of both companies. I pray they make a good decision because if nokia joins the crowd and opts for android it will be a terrible thing to the phone industry. Some of us are die hard nokia fans and will love to see them come out of this seeming drawback pretty soon.
  • Nokia has always had great hardware. They have been the camera leader for years now.
  • This is would be pretty interesting also. You are also forgetting about Jolla Sailfish. Nokia may adopt that instead of resurrecting Meego or the other dead OSes or Android.
  • I'll be the new CEO of Microsoft. :p
  • Personally, I think Zombie Jobs should take over :)
  • With MS becoming a Devices and Services company, Elop would be a perfect fit.
    But Ms wouldn't want to cripple their best WP partner.
    I think the only way that MS would get Elop is if they bought Nokia first.
    Then Samsung and HTC would probably be upset and not want to make Windows Phones. 
    But MS would sort of be like Apple. Having their own OS and their own hardware too.
  • I believe that just by even making Elop CEO of MS, without buying Nokia, would make not only Samsung and HTC suspicious but other OEMs as well, I personally believe Elop is doing the right thing at Nokia but I don't think it will do WP any good if he becomes CEO of MS - unless they want just Nokia to be the sole vehicle for WP.
  • I have to agree with everyone who said that Elop leaving Nokia would be a disaster for WP. Let's be honest, without him championing the cause there, the odds are that once their exclusive deal runs out, they're probably going to give in to all the people out there calling for them to switch over to Android because despite the fact that only Samsung is making a profit, they're free and they're the number one phone OS in the world.  Whatever happens, it will be an interesting year for both Microsoft and Nokia.
  • Microsoft needs to buy out RIM! And combined WP8.1 & BB11 under next generation 64-bit WP9 (ARMv8) Nokia Lumia could take advantage of all this technology!
  • Sir Elop is the only reason WP is growing. Imagine WP w/o Nokia and all the slow updates. No Nokia exclusive apps that are loved today. WP w/o the Lumia hardware and Camera.  IT'S HORRENDOUS. 
    Nokia (Elop) is the only reason why I decided to try WP and don't regret it a bit.  Stephen Elop is not afraid of change, and has pride in competing. Not selling his soul to Android like other weak companies out there *cough* Sony *cough*. His commitment to WP is loyal.  Hence.......he can't leave Nokia. Don't do it.
  • Elop has to stay where he is,i don't think he is the right guy for Misrosoft,Miscrosoft needs someone  with carisma,Elop does  not have it, Microsoft needs a guy to stand up in front of an audience and hipnotize you on what he is introducing,We got an example of Apple since Jobs is missing,they are living on his memory,how long can it last ?
  • Do it Microsoft! Make it happen.
  • Imagine that microsoft becomes a part of Nokia O_O
  • "The question is, if Elop leaves for Microsoft, who will take over at Nokia?" Elop leaves Nokia for Microsoft.
    Some random guy from Google takes over Nokia.
    Six months later, the first Nokia Nexus is announced, running "superior" Android Lemon Cake  4.5...
      [Wakes up from bad dream in a cold sweat]
  • Too many suggestions based on emotion here. Think logically, folks. Elop has done wonders for Windows phone but that doesn't mean he would be the right fit as Microsoft's CEO even though he has worked for Microsoft in the past. I think some of you need to look outside the WP box and understand that WP is only one sliver of Microsoft's huge line of products and services. Microsoft's reach is incredibly vast and their bucket is very deep. Many analyst suggest it's too deep. IMO, one of the reasons Microsoft takes so long to get anything done is because they have their hands in too many cookie jars.  Elop has done a great job getting Nokia back on course. And it's because of his/their actions that have really kicked the door in for WP. Why make such a risky change that leaves the fate of Microsoft, Nokia, AND WP into a huge gray unknown? And in regards to Microsoft buying Nokia, bad idea for all parties involved, IMO. Nothing about it makes solid business sense. Also see second paragraph. If this was done there would be zero incentive for other manufacturers to make WP or other devices.
    Blackberry: Makes their own phone platform and hardware. Result - Almost non-existent
    Apple: Makes their own phone platform and hardware. Result - Market share down to 30% Why follow suit?
  • Motorola owned by Google makes Andriod Phones along with Google Branded Nexus lines so its no prob doing both
  • Nokia made is hardware and Symbian OS and was on top for years. Just because you make your own stuff doesn't mean you are destined to fail. If that was the case apple as a whole would have failed. Apple iPhone isn't that successful now because they aren't that innovative. Also don't forget Nokia Asha lineup is still around and doing good.
  • Amazingly make Elop CEO of Microsoft then get Bill Gates to become CEO of Nokia......Okay to farfected. Then give us Elop after Microsoft Nokia buyout. if not I want Billy Gates back in charge or Sinofsky.
  • That's why Windows Phone was selected instead of Android, he could SEE the opportunity in his private agenda.
  • My vote still goes to Satya Nadella  (current head of Microsoft's Server & Tools business aka Cloud and Enterprise group)for Microsoft's next CEO.  He's such a smooth operator ;)  
  • I like Elop and he'd be fine.  However, I see Nokia dumping Windows Phone if he leaves.  He's the main reason why Nokia is Windows Phone.
    Plus, it'd be nice to have a visionary.  I vote Elon Musk!  And if that's too out there and visionary, then I wouldn't mind Paul Maritz.
  • Lol seriously!?
  • A UK based television station will have issues with SinofSKY being CEO at Microsoft. :-)
  • Stephen Elop might leave Nokia for Microsoft?  Best News!
    From the begining Elop with his disasterous Canadian-American "big-boots" started the destruction of Nokia.
    Was Elop a "Trojen Horse" placed by Microsoft?