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Nokia CEO planning to jump from "burning platform"

News by Michael Oryl on Wednesday February 09, 2011.

nokia news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Engadget has posted a document claimed to be an internal memo sent by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to the company's employees. Engadget has said that multiple "trusted sources" have verified that the document is legit.

In the 1,300 word memo, Elop likens Nokia's current situation to the story of a man standing on a burning oil platform, faced with the decision of whether to deal with the flames, or to jump into the icy cold North Sea waters. The many references to the term "burning platform" suggest that Nokia, like the man in Elop's story, is going to jump. In Nokia's case, it could very well mean the end of the company's support for the Symbian and Meego smartphone platforms, both of which have been struggling to be relevant in the current Apple and Android dominated smartphone market.

One of the many interesting points in the memo suggests that Nokia might "join" another platform with a better ecosystem. This would back up recent speculation that the company is going to support Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS. Elop is a former Microsoft executive.

Nokia is holding an investor event on Friday where Elop is expected to announce exactly which platform or platforms the company is going to jump from.

We've included a few choice excerpts from the Engadget memo below.

"The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable."

"The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem."

"We are working on a path forward -- a path to rebuild our market leadership. When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company. But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future."

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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