I’m not Microsoft’s ‘Trojan Horse’ – Nokia CEO

14 Feb 2011

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop denies he is a ‘Trojan Horse’ for Microsoft, days after the mobile phone company announced it would make Windows Phone 7 its primary operating system.

According to Engadget’s live blog of Nokia’s talk at the Mobile World Congress, during a question-and-answer session, a member of the audience yelled, “Are you a Trojan horse?” at Elop.

This was referring to suspicions that former Microsoft executive Elop’s acceptance of the top position within Nokia was part of a plan to get the company to work Windows Phone 7 into its strategy.

Elop chose to take the question, denying this accusation.

“The obvious answer is no. We made sure that the entire management team was involved in the process, and of course the board of directors of Nokia are the only ones that can make this significant of a decision about Nokia. They made that final decision on Thursday night,” said Elop.

Elop also denied he is the eighth-largest Microsoft shareholder. According to Daily Finance, Elop holds more than 130,000 shares at the company, valued at US$3.18m.

“That would be a substantial amount of money that I don’t have,” he said.

“When I moved from Microsoft from Nokia, I was legally prohibited from selling my shares. As soon as that lifted, I began selling.

“But when our discussions began, I had to stop selling again – the laws are very clear,” he said.

He pointed out that once the legal restrictions are lifted, he will sell those shares. He also mentioned he was given an equity position in Nokia.

At the talk, Elop also said Nokia would not be the sole supplier of Windows Phone 7 devices.

“What’s best for Nokia is an environment with multiple competitors creating an ecosystem,” he said.