Ex Apple Exec, Jean-Louis Gassée on Nokia, Elop and the board

| July 6, 2012 | 183 Replies


Jean-Louis Gassée, ex Apple Exec is giving advice that Nokia should go ahead and fire Elop and the whole board. I’ve not really heard of this guy up until now or know why his opinion should weigh more than anyone else’s. Check out his Wiki page for more info. It seems that JLG himself was forced out by Apple’s board for poor performance. Well, that’s what Wiki said about him. Although he’s done quite a bit outside of the Apple thing, his name is referenced most as an ex Apple guy, which is probably why his opinion about Nokia is spreading.

Anyway, JLG said:

I think that Elop will have to go, but I also think that the board also needs to be renewed with people who have an understanding and working knowledge of the mobile industry 

Is it really in his best interest to say that Nokia should just give up this whole transition at such critical make or break moments? Too much has been leading up to the launch of the WP8 devices. It seems based on other news that Nokia knew all about the WP7 limitations and were already working on WP8 devices, it was always about WP8 and W8.

In the 90s, Dell’s CEO once made a point that if he were in charge of Apple, he would ‘shut it down and give the money back to the shareholder’. It might have made sense to do that for outsiders, but they followed through. I’m not saying the same resurgence will happen to Nokia any time soon, but I feel they’ve got a better chance following this current strategy through (as bad as it looks) as opposed to pressing the reset button all over again and going Android or another OS.

It’s easy to hold JLG’s opinion in high regard now that you might agree with him. But for Symbian fans, he also advised back in 2010 that Symbian should be dropped in favour of Android.

I told them to drop everything and go Android. Do it in secret and let the rumours fly… I would have used Nokia’s design flare [sic] to make very nice phones

JLG reiterates that Symbian was dead. He says carriers were running away from Symbian in large numbers. Thus it made sense to move away from Symbian. BUT, JLG says the plans might have been revealed too early. Note, that infamous burning platform memo was never meant to be for the public.

He did a very good thing, which is to tell everyone that it is an eco-system ‘play’, not a platform play. That was very insightful. But then he reveals the plans without implementing them. Everyone knew that Symbian phones were dead-enders and Nokia’s partners – the carriers – ran away from Symbian in large numbers 

As noted in the Forbes article, he would have preferred Nokia to switch away from Symbian in secret. With such a big company as Nokia, would that ever have been possible? I feel like we’re just going to be stirring up the same old arguments again as to why the memo was released to the employees and why Nokia made the partnership in Feb 11. Not to mention the mass of unknown internal challenges Nokia was dealing with. I’m sure folks have already settled one way or another on their beliefs but it seems people will never get tired of talking about it so feel free to do that.


The computing article then goes on about JLG’s opinions on OPK who

presided over a confused platform strategy featuring multiple iterations of the Symbian operating system and Linux-based alternative 

Before JLG’s recommendations, the board were already thinking about ditching OPK but were not happy to go with Android.

Cheers all for the tip!


Category: Nokia

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]