Smartphone laggard Nokia picks up pace under CEO Elop

Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:08am EDT
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* Elop hired in 2010 to revive Nokia

* Flurry of product launches show Nokia moving faster

* Q2 results show Lumia sales still weak

By Ritsuko Ando

HELSINKI, July 22 (Reuters) - Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recalls a meeting in August 2011 in which the company's leadership struggled to decide on the name of its new smartphone, the first using Windows Phone software.

"We almost fell into the trap that had often befallen Nokia, which was... let them work on it a bit longer because we couldn't quite reach agreement," Elop said. Instead, he demanded a decision that day.

"Why wait til tomorrow or next week? We could make the decision today. And we did." Lumia was the result.

Senior Nokia employees say Elop, hired in 2010 to revive the once-undisputed leader in mobile phones, has forced them to make faster decisions, which has sped up everything from restructuring to the development of new handsets.

There is no time to waste. Nokia's ability to compete in the global smartphone market is increasingly questioned; its market share is stands at around three percent, far behind Samsung and Apple which control around 50 percent between them.   Continued...