The first English translation of Operation Elop, an examination by Finnish journalists into the final years of Nokia phones, has reignited debate about the fate of what was Europe’s largest and most admired technology company.
Operation Elop is largely negative about the Canadian CEO’s tenure, the first non-Finn to hold the position at the company, but nevertheless comes to his support when the authors find that criticism was unfair. For example, the vilification that Stephen Elop received on receiving a “$26m payoff” was completely unwarranted, the authors conclude, since the figure (and much of the reporting) was wildly inaccurate. If you want an American CEO, they point out, you need to pay an American CEO’s compensation. And Elop’s time at Nokia cost him his marriage, don’t forget.
But the collapse of Nokia also cost Finnish communities dear: the details of rising alcoholism, and child social services under strain as thousands of employees were laid off, make for grim reading.
Elop’s tenure at Nokia and the company’s downfall will be studied for decades to come.