In a largely unexpected, but no less momentous move, Microsoft announced that it is acquiring Nokia’s devices and services business. As part of the handset business buyout, Stephen Elop, the former Nokia boss is now joining the software giant.
The former CEO of Nokia will lead the Devices unit at Microsoft.
But Stephen Elop has been considered, for a while now, one of the major candidates for leading the Redmond Empire, and the speculation only grew after Steve Ballmer made public his retirement plans.
And as things stand now, he is considered to be in pole position to take the reigns over from Ballmer.
Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has just now confirmed in a short statement that Stephen Elop is in the race of the vacant position. In fact, talking to The Seattle Times, Ballmer said that Elop has moved from being an external candidate to an internal one:
“Stephen will go from external candidate to internal. The board will continue to look at all appropriate candidates through that process.”
Nevertheless, Ballmer explained that all candidates have equal chances — the company is looking at every single name that it has on the short list.
Still, Stephen Elop, being a former Microsoft executive who left the company to lead Nokia, seems to possess what it takes to take over from Ballmer and ensure that the transformation plan that the outgoing CEO recently initiated back in July is executed to perfection.