My heart goes out to Stephen Elop. The outgoing Nokia CEO who successfully ‘saved’ the failing device maker from sinking whilst precariously perched on a burning platform, and then placing it comfortably in the hands of Microsoft, may lose his hard earned millions in a divorce settlement.
The poor man can’t take a trick. It was reported that Nokia tried really hard to get him to accept a smaller payout as he headed out the door and back into fold at Microsoft, but he couldn’t because he was facing a big divorce payout and needed the $25 million, presumably to avoid hardship.
The Telegraph in the UK reported that, “he would have to convince her (his wife) to accept a reduced settlement if he in turn had to reduce the value of his bonus.” Gosh, no man should have to suffer this ignobility, surely!
He did stick to his guns but instead of standing gracefully as the head of Microsoft’s new devices unit he has thrown his hat in the ring for the big kahuna’s job – CEO of Microsoft, no less. He obviously needs the money to avoid depression and resume normal life after divorce.
I don’t blame Mrs Elop for claiming her fair share but now that she is getting the bulk of it, according to Mr Elop, that means he cannot share his windfall with the thousands of Nokia employees that lost their jobs under his reign. I’m sure he was thinking of them when he accepted the payout, but I guess it’s too late now.
Judging from his latest antics, he really does believe he was a great success at Nokia and is worthy of becoming the new messiah at Microsoft. No stranger to making headlines, usually negative, he has outlined his brilliant new strategy for Microsoft. He wants to concentrate on making versions of Microsoft's popular productivity suite, Office, compatible with iOS and Android, an approach Microsoft has thus far resisted.
The man is indeed a genius. How nobody else came up with this brand new idea and strategy defies all logic. He must have read somewhere that iOS and Android devices are outselling PCs and every other handheld device to boot. This must be recent knowledge to him otherwise he would surely have opted for Android after canning Symbian at Nokia, right?
Well, if he is right, everybody that is now doing quite fine without Office on their iOS and Android devices will simply have to rush out and buy it. This will make up for the coming drop in Office revenues as people dump their PCs in favour of mobile devices. It might be a challenge weaning those many hundreds of Office 365 users away from their cloud-based favourite. After all, cloud services are surely just a passing fad much the same as tablets were in the mind of the current CEO, Steve Ballmer.
It may be too early to make a bet or buy extra Microsoft shares but if Elop keeps coming up with similar groundbreaking strategies and gets the top job it may be worth thinking about – selling out.