2Microsoft Needs Mobile Help
3The Timing Is Perfect
That Microsoft announced its deal to acquire Nokia just after it also announces that Steve Ballmer is retiring should be telling. As long as everything goes well, Microsoft will close its Nokia purchase in the first quarter, giving Ballmer enough time to slip out the door within his self-imposed 12-month timeframe and let Elop come in.
4Why Else Would Elop Leave a Company That Will Still Operate?
Let’s not forget that Microsoft didn’t buy all of Nokia. Instead, the company bought its mobile hardware business, along with licenses to its patents. Why else would Elop leave a position as CEO of a company that’s still in operation to become a vice president if not for the opportunity to eventually lead the firm he’s gone to?
5Microsoft Trusts His Decision Making
6He’s a Former Microsoftie
7Many of the New Microsoft Employees Already Work Under Him
Microsoft right now has about 99,000 employees. With its Nokia buy, the company is adding 32,000 people. That means when it’s all said and done, approximately one-quarter of the company will be under Elop’s leadership. Even better, they already work under him. Elop comes in with a ready employee base that knows and respects him. That matters.
8Elop Understands Software and Hardware
The right Microsoft CEO will know how to handle both software and hardware and unlock the value in both. Elop just so happens to be one of those individuals. As Nokia CEO, he has improved the company’s hardware options while delivering better software through Here and other platforms. That should only help his chances of becoming Microsoft CEO.
9He’s Done a Fine Job
Although Nokia is still in deep trouble, it’s important to point out that Elop has done quite well in his role as the company’s chief executive. While at Nokia, Elop has been able to stabilize the company and improve its smart device sales. He’s even been able to stabilize the company’s balance sheet through asset reduction. All in all, he’s done a good job.
10No One Else Has All of the Tools
Looking around at the people that could eventually lead Microsoft, it’s hard to find anyone that truly has all of the tools that Microsoft wants. There are some folks who can run hardware divisions and others that know the cloud, but no one other than Elop has the ready-made knowledge needed to get Microsoft back on the right track. And it appears Ballmer and Microsoft know it.
11He Already Has Intimate Knowledge of Microsoft’s Mobile Division
Microsoft has made one thing abundantly clear: It needs to do a better job in mobile. Realizing that, it’s entirely possible that the company has seen value in Elop because of his intimate knowledge of its mobile operations. From the current Windows Phone to future solutions, Elop knows well Microsoft’s road map. And that has only helped his chances of getting Microsoft’s CEO job.