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Elop has six months to deliver results say analysts

Despite launch of Lumia 920, market sentiment is hardening against Nokia CEO as the long transition continues to bite

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 20 September, 2012

READ MORE: People/Management | Nokia | Windows Phone

Nokia investors and analysts are starting to run out of patience with CEO Stephen Elop. Despite the high level of buzz, by Nokia standards, for the latest Lumia smartphones, Elop is accused of being too slow in delivering the promised turnaround.

According to Reuters, the recent Windows Phone 8 launch has not made analysts think more kindly of Elop, and some are saying he only has until early next year to prove he really can restore Nokia's fortunes and deliver on the gamble to support the Microsoft platform. One cause of nervousness is that the firm has not yet announced shipment dates, carrier deals or pricing for the new Lumia 920 and 820, even as Samsung, HTC and others are also showing off WP8 devices.


Nokia is undergoing a radical reorganization which involves shedding 10,000 jobs, and though it doubled its Lumia sales in the second quarter this year, compared to Q1, Elop has warned that Q3 will "remain difficult". He said in July: "It is a critical priority to return our Devices & Services business to positive operating cashflow as quickly as possible."

But Magnus Rehle, a partner in Greenwich Consulting, told Reuters: "Elop has not been able to attract customers and that is what counts. You can say that he has not had enough time, but he has been there for two years. Time is up." And with the huge interest in the iPhone 5, it will be hard for the highly specified Lumia 920 to gain visibility. "The Christmas season is a lost cause. For Nokia, if there is any chance, it will be spring," Juha Varis of Danske Invest Finnish Equity Fund said in the same report.

Consensus is emerging that spring 2013 will be the deciding point, when Elop will need to demonstrate results or face another change of strategy, or even replacement at the top.

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