Ollila: Elop not first choice; Nokia lacked software competence

| October 17, 2013 | 99 Replies

Whilst I’m stuck in some traffic, I’ve fortunately got time for a quick post. This one is about Jorma Ollila, ex Nokia CEO and chairman.

This was shared by Janne, cheers to everyone else with similar tips!

Jorma Ollila’s book is coming out today and he is giving interviews, book Mahdoton menestys (Impossible success), co-authored Jorma Ollila and Harri Saukkomaa… some tidbits:

Jorma Ollila: “Sad and shocked” when heard of Nokia selling to Microsoft, lack of software knowhow was biggest obstacle for Nokia to compete with Apple and Google

Jorma Ollila: Elop wasn’t my favorite – the number one candidate refused the offer (same thing, btw, happened with Kallasvuo who wasn’t Ollila’s number one favourite)

This is a translation by Otto:

Jorma Ollila names SW competence as a reason for Nokia’s failure in a Helsingin Sanomat interview.

Interesting thing: reporter says that “Windows Phone strategy was a mistake as Nokia could not keep up with competition from Android and Apple”. Ollila responds “That is true. We could not create competitive products and an alternative for the two dominating companies using Microsoft’s OS.”

Some magazines went as far as saying that Ollila calls Windows strategy a mistake. However in other part of interview Ollila says about strategy of Symbian and MeeGo:

“When we did 2-3 year scope estimate of Nokia’s competitve capability by the board, there were great risks involved. After very long and careful consideration we ended up to Microsoft – widely supported by our external advisors, company management and R&D.”

In the end Ollila says it is futile to speculate on the alternative strategies:

“It is impossible to estimate what would have happened if there had been other decisions made in early 2011 or any other time. Part cannot be reconstructed to present day.”

Jiipee adds:

No mention of:
– WP + Meego
– Android + Meego
– Android
– Meltemi + Meego
– Android + WP

His views on Nokia’s software competence in the article are dubious. As if the leage of 1000 persons in silicon valley should have helped in keeping up with the pace in sw race. Where were the SW visionaries in the Board and top mgmt? Why didnt they hire any in 2007, when they already concluded that Symbian was no-go?

I wonder, Gartner was part of the consultants supporting the Nokia’s OS choise. What did they estimate at first: 20% market share in few years?

Waiting for the book that is launched in an hour. I wish that he admits that the whole organization and mgmt style were a mistake and does not only blame Symbian advocates (that he probably hired).


Having to post this from the 1020 cos iOS 7 browser is even more useless than before!


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]