Stephen Elop

It’s been nearly three months since Microsoft announced plans to acquire Nokia’s handset division. The deal has a few final steps to go through being finalized. One of those steps recently happened. Last Tuesday, Nokia shareholders finalized the 7.2 billion dollar transfer of Nokia’s phone division to Microsoft. That meeting wasn’t without its fair share of critics, most aimed at Stephen Elop. However, Nokia Chariman and interim CEO, Risto Siilasmaa, defended Stephen Elop and the sale of Nokia’s handset division.

During the 4 1/2 hour shareholder meeting last week, most of the criticism was focused directly at Stephen Elop. One shareholder claimed Nokia was a “triple-A plot” that “drove the company to ruin”. Siilasmaa defended Elop by telling shareholders he had never met anyone who worked as hard as Elop.

Siilasmaa also had to defend the sale of the handset division. Speaking on that he said:

“On the board of directors, we understood that, as the decision-makers, we would also be heavily criticised. However, we are convinced that continuing with the old strategy would have most likely led to great difficulties for Nokia, its shareholders and employees.”

Losing the handset division of Nokia to Microsoft is going to be a hard thing for many Finns to swallow. Siilasmaa himself acknowledged the fact by saying he was aware that the sale “would raise deep feelings” among the Finns. It’s also easy for them to blame Elop, who many consider to be a Trojan horse for Microsoft. However, it’s nice to see current CEO Siilasmaa defend the actions of both Elop and the board.

Source: South China Morning Post