Microsoft is going to wind down Nokia's Asha and Series 40 feature-phone businesses over the next 18 months to focus solely on devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, according to an internal company memo. The decisions come as part of Microsoft's decision to cut 18,000 jobs, including 12,500 former Nokia workers, the largest restructuring in the company's history.
Now that Microsoft's $7.5 billion deal to buy Nokia's devices and services business has officially closed, Microsoft is starting to reveal some changes that are coming. One, according to Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, is that Microsoft does not plan on using the Nokia brand for much longer for Nokia's smartphones.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella named Nokia executive Stephen Elop as the head of Microsoft's devices division as part of a restructuring of Microsoft's executive team. The changes come just ahead of Microsoft's Build developer conference, which it will kick off Wednesday in San Francisco.
With Satya Nadella now officially Microsoft's new CEO, the tech world is now looking intently at his plans for the company, especially for how it will tackle the mobile market. At the same time, Nadella and the wider Microsoft organization will need to figure out what roles internal candidates who were passed over for the CEO spot will play in the Nadella era.
As had been expected, Microsoft named Satya Nadella as its third CEO. Nadella will take the place of the outgoing Steve Ballmer, who announced last year he would retire. In naming a 22-year Microsoft veteran as CEO, the company's board chose an insider who was considered a safe choice at a time when the company is being buffeted by challenges on the mobile front and is integrating Nokia's handset business.
Nokia shareholders approved the $7.35 billion sale of the company's devices and services unit to partner Microsoft, according to multiple reports.
Nokia sold at least 8 million Lumia Windows Phone smartphones in the third quarter, up from 7.4 million in the second quarter and far more than the 2.9 million it sold in the year-ago period, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Missed opportunities for some as well as second chances for others have dominated the headlines this week, highlighting the often fickle and sometimes surprising industry we all work in.
Former Nokia CEO and Chairman Jorma Ollila said that he made mistakes during his tenure as the company slipped behind faster rivals in the smartphone market. However, he also said that Stephen Elop was not his first choice to become Nokia's CEO in late 2010 and that the work Nokia has done under Elop has not been enough to turn around the company's mobile phone business.
Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer held his final meeting with employees on Thursday, in what was reportedly a highly emotional event for the executive, who is stepping down after three decades with the company. Meanwhile, rumors continue to circulate about Ballmer's potential successors.