The world’s worst CEO is NOT Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, it’s Nokia’s Stephen Elop

“When Stephen Elop announced his surprising Windows strategy on February 11, 2011, he promised a 1 to 1 transition from Symbian, and that Windows would also start to take sales from featurephones. Now we have seen 6 quarters of Eloppian management execution of that new strategy and four quarters of Lumia sales using that new promised Windows platform,” Tomi Ahonen writes for Communities Dominate Brands. “Some so-called experts promised this would be a ‘third ecosystem’ (haha) and some so-called experts promised Microsoft-powered Nokia would have over 20% market share in smartphones. Now we can see what the reality is like.”

“First the top-line info. Nokia reports Q3 smartphone sales of 6.3M units of sales which is down 38% (in just one quarter!) from 10.2M in Q2,” Ahonen writes. “The Nokia smartphone revenues are 976M Euros (1,279 M US Dollars), down 37% from Q2. Nokia average sales prices of smartphones are 155 Euro (203 USD), up from 151 Euro (198 USD). Nokia’s market share in smartphones has fallen from 7% in Q2 of 2012 to 4% now.”

“How is that promise of the third ecosystem doing? Lumia sales are DOWN and massively, 27% just from the quarter before (how’s ’em apples, then? The promise of AT&T success and ‘outselling Apple in China (haha),” Ahonen writes. “Yes, Lumia sales down from 4.0M in Q2 to 2.9M now. Bear in mind, the market is GROWING. Lumia ASP is collapsing, falling 14% in just one quarter (who wants an obsolete phone after all?). Meanwhile – Symbian prices are up! Yes, its that 808 Pureview etc powering Symbian price climb.”

Ahonen writes, “In very early rough draft, assuming roughly same proportion of Nokia vs rival Windows Phone sales, this suggest Windows Phone global market share fallen from 3% in Q2 to 2% now! How’s that for your ‘third ecosystem’? Windows had 12% market share five years ago in smartphones. It had 5% before Windows Phone first edition launched. Windows (all versions) had 4% by the time Elop selected Windows Phone for Nokia. Windows was down to 1% by the time Nokia finally released its first smartphone. And last quarter, Windows Phone – after 3 quarters of Nokia-fuelled growth, had just managed to hit 3% (with some rounding off). Now they are falling again, and will be around 2% this quarter. This is Elop’s saviour-OS. This is what he staked all of Nokia’s future on. A platform which in 2010 was declining, in 2011 was declining more, and now, in the latest quarter is once again declining in market share. 2%.. Two percent and falling. Two YEARS after Windows Phone launched”

“I think we can safely say, this strategy is a colossal failure, as is the lunatic who exchanged growing profitable sales of smartphones for this madness. This is a world-record fall in market share by any market leader in any industry, ever,” Ahonen writes. “This is yes, a world record in management failure. This is far faster than the collapse we saw of Siemens in mobile phones (they sold their business). Or Motorola (who went bankrupt). Or Palm (who sold their company to HP, which then put them out of their misery). This is FAR worse than the troubles over at RIM of Canada, who make the Blackberries… No wonder increasingly Elop is being called the worst CEO of any company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Elop, with a capital “F.”


    1. Right… Because Balmer has managed to continually increase its market breadth and share and profits…No?

      But, but, Balmer & Gates saw the coming tablet revolution. Yup, and then they did nothing to analyze what that would mean and require and then EXECUTE.

      1. That is why Microsoft gets ZERO credit for making tablets happen. It’s one thing to anticipate technology and another to interpret and execute it correctly. No way Microsoft has that ability nor has it ever had it. It’s executives are completely incapable of thinking outside the box especially if it means changing the status quo instead of making it Windows-centric. Apple is a company unconcerned with making big changes where MS is scared s**tless so they MUST FAIL as a result, essentially for being cowards.

        When I see the bombastic Bomber boldly declaring that “We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch” I have to laugh long, loud, hard and cruelly. BWAHAHAHA!!!!!

        As SNL would say – Really? REALLY?

      2. Since it’s pile-on Microsoft day, just thought I would add this tidbit: Steve Bomber’s analysis of the iPhone in 2007.

        Interviewer: People get passionate when Apple comes out with something new—the iPhone; of course, the iPod. Is that something that you’d want them to feel about Microsoft?
        Bomber: It’s sort of a funny question. Would I trade 96% of the market for 4% of the market? (Laughter.) I want to have products that appeal to everybody.
        Now we’ll get a chance to go through this again in phones and music players. There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

        1. Oh, he really is a CEO? My bad. I thought he was an entertainer since he has hit videos out such as – DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS and the timeless classic – PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ.

  1. When you tie your cart to the Microsoft horse, you can’t help but get splashed with the turd that falls from Microsoft’s rear end.

    When your cart is powered entirely by the Microsoft donkey with no other means of motive power, then the pace of your progress will be measured by how slow the MS donkey plods along the slow path to technological obsolescence.

    Abandoning Meego and Symbian before the Windows Phone 8 OS was ready or proven is like chopping off your left leg and expecting your right leg to power you to the 100m Olympics gold medal against the Apple Usain Bolt.

  2. I am really not sure it is fair to call any of these CEO’s failed or the worst. When facing an unstoppable force with the power of the most innovative products, mature and massively overwhelming ecosystem, reputation with both consumers/business, vision and every thing else needed to crush the competition, I really don’t
    believe anyone is capable of doing anything else but losing market share.

    The market changed and the guys that changed it are in the position to take it all because everyone else was caught napping. The ONLY way Google has gotten where they are is because they stole the GUI and give it away for free. Period.

    I feel sorry for the other CEOs because they are labeled inadequate while Schmidt, a thief is considers some type of genius. It is a sad state of affairs when a thief is honored over real leaders with the integrity not to steal and suffer the fate of being handed their hats in the fight for market share. If Google did not have the mole on Apples board he would be in the same position as the worst of the CEOs with his blackberry knock off.

    1. Wrong. Any CEO should have seen that it was essential to have your own smartphone OS, not rely on another company’s offerings. To flat out abandon MeeGo and Symbian for any OS from Microsoft was insane — not only was Windows Phone unproven, but Microsoft has a long track record of not delivering OSes timely or finished. Then throw on top of it that Microsoft was losing market share fast, and choosing Microsoft as your OS supplier could only be rationalized by a huge check from Microsoft or a firm desire to wreck your company and sell off the pieces.

  3. Shame on Elop for burning all of Nokia’s bridges when he took power. But remember that Elop came from Microsoft. He is still drowning in MS’s coolaid.

    Now what do these numbers say about consumer acceptance of Windows Phone 7? And consider of the consumer perspective the Windows 8 looks just like Windows Phone 7. Instead of Balmer realizing that Joe and Jane consumer are rejecting this UI, MS is deploying it to everything they have; phone, tablet, and desktop. Now what does the future look like for MS? Where will the consumer be going for their computer needs if not MS?

    Google is down, Nokia is down. This news is clearly affecting Apple stock but backwards. Apple should be flying up! I’m looking forward to 10/25.

    1. I am sure Elop thought he was MOST clever tying Nokia’s cart to the “sure fire” Windows Phone horse (and associated BLN turds flying in their direction). Such MS style braggadocio always ends up with egg on their face, explosive cigar effect. Ballmer and Elop both will soon be history to their mutual failures.

  4. Elop is probably worse because he tied himself to a dolt like Balmer.

    Make no mistake, people inside Miicrosoft do not like Balmer. I know many people there, and they can see their stock sitting stagnant and their CEO making endless mistakes.

    1. I knew people there at Microsoft too and visited the Redmond campus many times as well and yes there is no love lost between Ballmer and the employees. How many times up at bat does Ballmer get fouling out before the Board and Gates takes action before it is too late? Most CEO’s with his track record would have been let go long before. I suspect they realize letting Ballmer go would be tantamount to admitting to the world they have failed in their stragedies (strategic tragedies) and are loath to do so.

      1. I have a friend who is an avid Yankees hater. Just the other day she commented that she actually was feeling a sorry for them because they were getting spanked so bad by Detroit. I know it is sacrilege, but I’m feeling a bit sorry for Microsoft. The company, not that buffoon Ballmer. The company is being destroyed from the top down.

        1. You mean you feel sorry for Microsoft’s employees? Those that had no real means of driving the company in one direction or another? I hope so, because the company itself is run by the executive management and there’s no sense in pitying any of them I think. Ballmer is not alone in his responsibility for where Microsoft finds themselves today. I also would argue that Microsoft was never a great company. They stole the UI for Windblows from Apple and acted in monopolistic fashion throughout their history to maintain their hegemony and crush their competition.

          1. Correctly argued. Moreover, in this great contemporary saga of saints and villains, even while humbled opponents such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Research in Motion lie in roadside triage, Google as Gargantua lays waste to the lives and good names of us all.

  5. The smartphones of today have as much in common with the smartphones of a few years ago as the horse n buggy and the car.

    Elop was in charge of a horse and buggy factory, it’s just that no one buys those anymore.

  6. Since they are actually the same lump of crap co-existing in the same space, I would suggest to you feeble, squabbling plebeians go have an in-and-out burger then go bankrupt them both ,,,,

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