Nokia is preparing for a profound reorganisation of its mobile business, its newly-appointed CEO has said in an extraordinary email to staff.
Stephen Elop compared Nokia to a man awakening on a burning oil platform in the North Sea.
“I have learned that [Nokia is] standing on a burning platform,” he said.
“We have more than one explosion – we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us."
Elop said that Google’s Android platform, and Apple’s iPhone, had in particular put the firm under pressure. He blamed a lack of accountability, poor response times and a series of flops for the problems Nokia faces.
The company, which once dominated the mobile market, is rumoured will partner with Microsoft to develop Windows Phone 7 devices.
Elop went on to criticise Nokia for its failure to compete with Apple and Google in a market it once stoop atop.
“The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience,” he said.
“Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.”
He said that Nokia’s Symbian OS has “proven to be non-competitive in leading markets like North America”.
In an email posted on Engadget, he continued:
“Additionally, Symbian is proving to be an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop to meet the continuously expanding consumer requirements, leading to slowness in product development and also creating a disadvantage when we seek to take advantage of new hardware platforms.”
Driving the message home, he said: “If we continue like before, we will get further and further behind, while our competitors advance further and further ahead”.
“I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses.”
Nokia is rumoured will join forces with Microsoft do develop phones on the Windows Phone 7 platform.