Predictably, many of the speeches at Mobile World Congress have been a response to the Nokia-Microsoft alliance. Intel and Google CEOs were disappointed, for obvious reasons, though putting on a gracious front; almost every firm that is threatened by Google and Apple welcomed the news, while Nokia itself talked of its adoption of WP7 being a way to build an alternative power base to Android’s. But while long time Nokia (and Symbian) friends like NTT DoCoMo were praising the deal, Nokia shareholders were in revolt, calling for a ‘Plan B’ and even for CEO Stephen Elop‘s resignation.
An unnamed group of “nine young Nokia shareholders” who have all been employees at some stage published an open letter to their fellow investors, arguing that this is a bad deal for Nokia, and that another way to restore its mobile fortunes should be found, along with a new CEO.
The group said it plans to challenge the decision at Nokia’s annual general meeting on May 3 and will also present its own plan B, which would look to fire Elop and change the firm’s hiring strategy and its “outdated and bureaucratic R&D practices”.
The group has little chance of success, of course, and may consist of people with their own axes to grind, but they did tap into a widely held nervousness about Nokia’s decision virtually to abandon its homegrown software platforms. It must avoid, they wrote, “becoming a poorly differentiated OEM with only low margin, commodity products that is unable to attract top software talent and cannot create shareholder value though innovation.” It is seeking to build support for its proposals through Facebook, Twitter and blog campaigns.
Meanwhile, in his keynote speech, outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he had been very disappointed that Nokia did not adopt Android and still believed there would be chances to work together in future. He told the congress that his firm had tried hard to win over the leading handset maker, and had held “extensive” confidential discussions.
“We’d like them to adopt Android, and we certainly tried,” he said during questions. “The offer remains open.”
Source: Rethink Wireless
- Rogue Nokia Shareholders Are Calling For Stephen Elop’s Head (gizmodo.com.au)
- RIM, Nokia, DoCoMo united against Google’s menace (infoworld.com)