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Australia Businesses Communications Microsoft

Stephen Elop New Chief Innovator For Australia's Telstra 110

Freshly Exhumed writes: The former Microsoft executive excoriated by some industry watchers for the collapse of Nokia Mobile Phones, Stephen Elop, has re-emerged down under. Telstra says Elop is being appointed to the new role of Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy, "leading Telstra's strategy to become a world class technology company" (stop giggling, you in the back row). Telstra cites Elop's "deep technology experience" and "innate sense of customer expectations."
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Stephen Elop New Chief Innovator For Australia's Telstra

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eflop The Destroyer spells DOOM!

    • Yeah, I don't know how they got "innate sense of customer expectations." from his time at Nokia.

      Maybe he left it off his resume.
      Or maybe I don't understand who the customer was.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        His performance at Nokia was brilliant. He delivered the broken carcass to Microsoft exactly as planned. I wonder what they have in store for Telstra?

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          To be fair, by most accounts, Nokia was already doing their damnedest to ruin their company before Elop was at the helm. If you look at what they had been doing and were doing when Elop moved in and want to think it was some sort of conspiracy than the conspiracy must have started about three years prior to the event.

          That doesn't mean it's not possible, it just means that there were more people involved - thus making it less likely.

        • by trabby ( 4123953 )
          Well at least Telstra is already a broken carcass and was sold up the river long ago.
    • And in other unrelated news. Large numbers of people have been observed walking their dogs. Film at 11:00.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    " Microsoft buys Telstra at a steal..."

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I scrolled back up just because I wanted to respond to this.

      It got me thinking... You know, I'm unaware of any AUS legislation that would prevent such a merger/purchase. With MSFT wanting to move into the mobile sector more than they already are... The odds of that are low and the odds of success are probably lower - but it might make some sense.

      However, if it were Elop *again* to do so, I'm thinking somebody, somewhere, somehow is going to start asking a few questions. That's REALLY going to result in some

  • by Anonymous Coward

    RIP Telstra

    • Exactly. This guy is like the so-called 'turnaround artist' Gil Amelio that just about killed both National Semiconductor and Apple.

      I have no idea how these people can continue to fail upwards. Granted, his tenure at Nokia was a "successful failure" as he was an inside man who's sole job was to destroy enough value to make them affordable for Microsoft... but whatever.

    • he had his best shot at taking Telestra down by the lawyers. Telestra seems to be the dumping ground for losers in suits.

  • by Daniel Matthews ( 4112743 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @03:10AM (#51706091)
    I hope they can improve their customer service because at the moment it is so bad, and their procedures so illogical, that it is faster to churn across to another service provider than it is to get Telstra to fix things, so if you are out of contract just jump and don't even bother asking them for help.
    • This is interesting as they have also bought a UK health intelligence company (which wasn't really) called Dr Foster, and also imported the ex-head of the NHS IT and informatics - Tim Kelsey who is an ex-journalist rather than a techie.
      I can see why they want to build up non-primary industry services that can be exported.

      I speak as an Australian when I say that Australia is not very smart about who to hire externally and they tend to go for names rather than capabilities, although these people may be

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since when did they want them gone?

  • by serbanp ( 139486 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @03:25AM (#51706125)

    Telstra cites Elop's "deep technology experience" and "innate sense of customer expectations."

    That must be a weird typo, it should read "inane sense of customer expectations." instead.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @03:56AM (#51706179)

    I have good news and bad news. The good news is we got rid of our Elop problem! The bad news is that we had to sacrifice Australia to do it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dear Aussies. Accept our deepest condolences and our heartfelt thanks for taking one for the team.

  • Too big to fail applies to individual careers too it would seem. I doubt he'll run his sector of the business any worse than his predecessors, he would have to try awfully hard in order to achieve that. Telstra is famously incompetent here in Aus, and they're our largest telco - go figure.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @04:02AM (#51706197)

    He did exactly what he was supposed to do - ruin Nokia as an independent company so that Microsoft could swoop in.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Problem there is that normally CEO should work for the good of the shareholders of the company.

      Of course in retrospect - probably unintentionally - he did so. Nokia got rid of the rapidly decomposing phone manufacturing side that was already dying (due to braindead moves before Elop even arrived), kept the profitable bits and lots of R&D staff (and will get to cherry pick the rest back when MS nukes their phone development). Eventually they'll probably go back to designing phones and letting someone els

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        it was still saveable at that point.

        it would have meant axing 75% of their os engineers anyways and to cut 95% of os dev subcontracting.

        they had like 3000+ staff working on symbian while 100 would have sufficed. another 1000+ on the linux stuff(these are on paper abouts numbers. actual code contributing to customer shipping product people were of course something like 5% of that). you try doing developing like that.. making a customer facing app change might involve 5+ department heads and people working i

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jareth-0205 ( 525594 )

      Nokia was dead already, their incompetent board had ensured that by not moving when the clear threat of Android and iOS emerged. At the point Elop joined they really had only two options: take a punt on Windows (which had a chance of working) or slip into certain irrelevance with their own operating system that was too late, or become yet another Android manufacturer.

      It's popular to blame the whole thing on Elop, but it was the board of Nokia in the previous years that put the company in the dire situation

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @07:38AM (#51706635)

        Well, Elop accelerated the demise by telling everyone that existing Nokia stuff was DOA many many months before they had anything new to ship.

      • Very good points Jareth. I have said repeatedly, that the Board of Directors ultimately sets the course for the company & it includes the CEO (or Co-CEOs in the case of RIM.)

        The BoD was truly the decision maker which refused to react to the January 2007 announcement by Steve Jobs. Had Nokia jumped on board totally at that time, it might have been Nokia rather than Google's Android that was in the top 2 mobile OS's.

      • Being yet another Android manufacturer is quite a profitable business if you make quality hardware and have the brand recognition to go with it.

      • by iris-n ( 1276146 )

        Two options:

        1 - Try Windows.
        2 - Insist on Symbian.
        3 - Try Android.

        I think you need to learn how to count. And how about the fourth option, Meego?

        And come on, trying Windows? In which world would it make sense to jump from a failed operating system (Symbian) to another failed operating system (Windows)? If it was an honest attempt, according to your point of you, we must conclude that Elop was not Evil (Tm), just monumentally stupid. And looking at how much money the guy made from the whole debacle, I think

        • I think you need to learn how to count.

          Oh, you're so fucking clever!

          I'm not saying that these things couldn't have ever been successful, but at the point he was brought on iOS was established and Android well on its way to world domination, and at the point Elop joined it was just too late. In theory MS had more resources to throw - in practice they didn't of course, but at the time there were other Windows Phone manufacturers and it was more likely to succeed than Meego, that didn't even exist yet, atleast. They might have survived as an Androi

          • by iris-n ( 1276146 )

            I do agree that the situation was bleak when Elop joined; but the question is whether his actions were an honest attempt to save the company or a ploy to destroy its share value and make it easier for Microsoft to buy it.

            Ok, honest question then: do you think things could have turned out worse for Nokia than they in fact did? Was there any course of action being realistic advocated that would have made the company even more worthless than it is now?

            • Difficult to see how it could have been worse... Atleast they got out with the rest of (non-phone) Nokia surviving and the freedom to manufacture phones again after a short delay, but apart from that it's hard to say how it could have gone worse.

              I'm not sure how it could have been much better though, I can't see a good way forward from that position using any of the other options available at the time.

      • I say this as an Android developer, former ROM maintainer, Android kernel hacker, and general supporter. I've exclusively owned Android-based devices since 1.6.

        Android sucks. It really, really sucks. It's awful.

        Nokia had a real shot with Maemo. The UI needed some reworking, and they needed to move to capacitive touchscreens. They needed beefier hardware with more RAM. But Maemo was so far ahead of Android on the system, package management and update process, and even the UI at that point, .. if they'd

        • No disagreement here on the intention and the possible outcome, only the timing. They needed competent management *and* those coders, and to have started sooner.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        I see two big errors on Nokia's part.
        1. The lack of CDMA phones.
        2. Not developer friendly.
        3. No sense of urgency.

        The first kept Nokia off of Verizon and Sprint in the US. Verizon at the time was the number one carrier and Sprint number 3. Sure you could be on AT&T but Nokia phones in general were not marketed well in the US. Like it or not the US market is a large and influential market.
        The second was simple you had to pay money "and not a little" to develop for Symbian. You just where not going to get

    • Nokia had issues a long time before Elop; Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was a bean counter, not a technology visionary. The Windows Phone gambit at least enabled Nokia to offload the phone business to Microsoft...

    • That's exactly what I think of him. He executed and completed the mission given to him. Having said that, I was glad he did not become the next MSFT CEO. It would have been a big mistake for MSFT. He is not the kind of guy to turn a company around.
  • Seems like odd choices, all round, frankly.

    For Stephen, he's gone from CEO of Nokia (massive global brand) to head of a large division at Microsoft (massive Global brand) to kind of "some guy" at Telstra. A company everyone in Australia has heard of, sure - but probably no one else.

    For Tesltra, it's like picking a guy who keeps failing (and you can certainly argue for issue outside of his control - but you could argue against that, too). I get there's more to it than this but I have to say, this seems a b
    • Seems like odd choices, all round, frankly.

      You're talking about a company who's former CEO was a nuclear physicist. Nothing really surprises me anymore.

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @04:40AM (#51706267) Journal

    Jumping from one executive position into the other, no matter what the quality of their work.

  • Telstra are already one of the crappiest telcos in Australia (and a company I have as little as possible to do with), I cant see how Elop could make things any worse.

  • I know Telstra is about the most expensive internet in the country but I never realised how bad the entry country was until I moved away.

    Well I'm sure he'll be no worse than having a nuclear physicist running the place.

  • In the first article the blogger defined Elop Effect as "COMMUNICATION errors" - ditching Symbian before Windows phone was ready. HELL, NO, it's not merely a COMMUNICATION errors". He's a former employee of Microsoft, and he has his track-record of destroying Macromedia (plummeted its stock values, and then sold it to Adobe) when he was also the CEO of this company. His mission was very well-known in telecommunication world: molesting Nokia from inside so that it could agreed to sleep with Microsoft as a
  • First Nokia, Espoo, Finland
    Then Microsoft, Redmond, USA
    Now Telstra, Melbourne, Australia

    His final destination is for sure Amudsen-Scott base [], Antarctica
  • Watch as they get hollowed out and carved up, ripe for a buyout.
  • I can smell another burning platform...
  • I think of Australia as the country with the worlds most deadly animals. This seems to fit with that.

  • Carly Fiorina never got an important job again after ruining HP.

    WTF does this turd get something?

Interchangeable parts won't.