Stepnen Elop (Nokia): the greatest corporate destroyer

Nice comment about Nokia CEO found on

I worked with Stephen Elop back in the Macromedia days, starting with him being my boss^2, in the late 90’s. I’ve always found him a fascinating exec to watch. In the four years or so I saw him at Macromedia, I watched him:

1. Come into IT, get the existing CIO kicked out, become the CIO, and fuck IT up[0]; so they promoted him and

2. He came into the Andromedia purchase, ran that business group for about a week which was long enough to fuck it up; so they promoted him and

3. He started a brand new business group (Internal name… Whirlwind, I think?) for about three months which was long enough to fuck it up; so they promoted him…

The pattern reached its logical conclusion when he became CEO of the company and then… sold it to Adobe.

Stephen is the most perfect example I’ve ever seen of the sometimes-mythic «failing upward» tendency. He turns everything he touches to shit, and… then gets rewarded for it. It’s like magic. I look forward to Nokia failing miserably, being sold to Microsoft, Stephen making billions out of the deal, and getting elected President of the United States, which he will drive into the ground, formally make into a Chinese colony like Hong Kong, and finally get promoted to God.

[0] Favorite story from that time: At the beginning of my time at Macromedia, our website was running on four servers, and I remember one time for a stupid reason three were not taking traffic. The first reason we found out about this was because someone mentioned the website was «a little slow.» And we were taking tons of traffic. So Stephen came in and forced us to have a dynamic website. Hey, that’s a GOOD idea. And then he decided we should use Broadvision for this. Which was a steaming pile of shit which BV recommended we reboot «as often as you can» because it was unstable. Which required horrific investments of money (we were buying Sun E4500s like there was no tomorrow and putting in 14GB of RAM in each — back when Sun RAM was at around $7000 per GB). Which Stephen brought in KPMG to «help us» implement, which had the predictably hilarious results that anyone here who’s worked with a big consulting shop has likely seen for themselves.

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