Microsoft appoints the man who wrecked Nokia to head up Xbox One and Surface

Is Elop the right man for THIS job?

Is Elop the right man for THIS job?

In an interesting development at Microsoft, the company has appointed former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to the head position over the "Devices and Studios" group. This position puts him in charge of all development not only for the Surface, but also for the Xbox One.

 

While it was a given that Microsoft was going to find a place for the former Nokia chief within the company, it is interesting that they put him in charge of what are essentially the 2 most important products Microsoft makes. While the Surface is finally beginning to see some appreciable sales numbers after the launch of the Surface Pro 2, the Xbox One, is not faring as well. Microsoft's next gen entry in the gaming space has failed to gain the traction it has needed in the marketplace, running a very distant 2nd place to their direct competitor the Playstation 4. This, despite having launched in more markets. While Elop, 50, has seen his fair share of praise for some decisions at Nokia, the risk this decision poses for Microsoft is real. Wikipedia puts it best:

"During the 3 years Elop was Nokia CEO, Nokia revenues fell 40%, Nokia profits fell 95%, Nokia market share collapsed in smartphones from 34% to 3.4%, Nokia’s credit rating went from A to junk, Nokia’s share price dropped 60% in value and Nokia’s market capitalization lost 13 Billion dollars in value. The Financial Times calculated that Nokia shareholders ended up paying Elop a bonus of 1 million Euros for every 1.5 billion in market capital that Elop was able to destroy while Nokia CEO.”

Where we go from here is anyone's guess, but speaking from the angle of the Xbox's current market position, it's going to be all uphill from here...