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Stephen Elop Will be Put in Charge of Xbox Gaming Division, Surface & Windows Phone

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
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In a supreme twist of irony, Stephen Elop has been named by Microsoft to be taking over as head of the Xbox Gaming Division of Microsoft. The soon-to-be former CEO of Nokia will be taking over the position, despite several earlier rumors suggesting he intended to shut down or sell-off the division if he had been named as Microsoft's new CEO. Now it seems he will be given the task of making sure it survives and thrives despite the intense competition from the Sony PS4.

Reportedly, Elop will also be in charge of Microsoft's Windows Phone efforts and their Surface product as well. This will all occur once Microsoft takes control of Nokia's handset business. Now that Elop's fate is tied directly to the success of these divisions it's likely we will see the former head-boss of Nokia with a different outlook on them. Let's just cross our fingers that he is more successful with these products than he was with Nokia's. Here's a quote with the full internal memo below,

Team,

As you will read in the notes below from Qi and Satya, I’ve accepted a new challenge, leading the My Life & Work team in ASG and serving as the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I’m thrilled about this opportunity. In working with company leaders this year to establish our One Microsoft vision and plan, I thought about ways I could have impact on helping Microsoft prepare for the future and innovate. My discussions with Satya and Qi made clear this is a critical space to drive new thinking and an essential way to help the shape the company’s direction. I’m looking forward to developing the Digital Life & Digital Work Experience Substrate that powers modern digital experiences regardless of device, as well as working across ASG to strengthen customer experiences.

I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe. We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!

Our opportunity to grow as a world-class devices and experiences company is greater than ever, and I have every belief that as One Microsoft we’re on the right path. The addition of Nokia Devices & Services into the DnS family will add tremendous scale, talent and opportunity for our future.

I’ll remain in role leading the DnS organization in the interim until the Nokia deal closes and Stephen Elop makes his transition to Microsoft. We’ve been meeting regularly throughout and are making a lot of progress, ensuring our teams are ready for the Day 1 close and beyond.

You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.

As I look to the future, I’m reminded of a favorite Chinese proverb: “To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

I encourage you all to stay focused on the journey and opportunities ahead, and know that I’ll be there in step with you as we launch the next chapter of Microsoft.

Thank you,

Julie

Source: BGR
 

tarrant64

Member
So either the rumors are absolutely false, or Microsoft has made a poor decision. Hard to tell, but it sounds like some people thought that putting a guy who had doubts about a product in charge of that product was a great idea. I'm curious if there were no other candidates that could have been promoted from within any of the divisions impacted by change. I find that hard to believe.

I think Microsoft made a great decision with Satya, promoting from within and choosing a candidate who had been with the company for many years, knew the culture, proved he could help move the company forward into new directions...and then they pick Stephen Elop, who was rumored to want to dump the great Xbox gaming division of Microsoft...in charge of the gaming division.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
So either the rumors are absolutely false, or Microsoft has made a poor decision. Hard to tell, but it sounds like some people thought that putting a guy who had doubts about a product in charge of that product was a great idea. I'm curious if there were no other candidates that could have been promoted from within any of the divisions impacted by change. I find that hard to believe.

I think Microsoft made a great decision with Satya, promoting from within and choosing a candidate who had been with the company for many years, knew the culture, proved he could help move the company forward into new directions...and then they pick Stephen Elop, who was rumored to want to dump the great Xbox gaming division of Microsoft...in charge of the gaming division.

I hate to think about what Elop would do to the Surface line up too!!!!
 

CreativeLemming

Active Member
I hate to think about what Elop would do to the Surface line up too!!!!

Given my past experience (he took over as CEO of my old company before he ditched our OS and moved Nokia onto the path to Windows, making me redundant in the process), then nothing would surprise me.

Not at all surprised that he's become head of devices given his recent Nokia stint, although happy he lost the race to CEO. Regarding his statements about ditching the line, check out his background - he's got quite a history of 'turning companies around' in quite an interesting manner. Also interesting is the recent news that NSN might be merging with Juniper networks (ex-Elop company, hmmm?)

...not that I'm bitter or anything.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Given my past experience (he took over as CEO of my old company before he ditched our OS and moved Nokia onto the path to Windows, making me redundant in the process), then nothing would surprise me.

Not at all surprised that he's become head of devices given his recent Nokia stint, although happy he lost the race to CEO. Regarding his statements about ditching the line, check out his background - he's got quite a history of 'turning companies around' in quite an interesting manner. Also interesting is the recent news that NSN might be merging with Juniper networks (ex-Elop company, hmmm?)

...not that I'm bitter or anything.

Sorry to hear about the adverse impact Elop has had on you personally. I just hope he does not insist that the Surface line-up resembles anything like the Nokia tablet or otherwise tarnishes the Surface line-up in any way. That would be a pity.
 

msft

New Member
Nokia were absolutely clueless before Elop came in. The last Symbian OS they released was disgraceful. They were going to become a second-class Android phone manufacturer as the design of the phones was also sooo much out of date. Just look at the phones before he came in, you will be surprised how bad they were compared to the competition. Elop turned it around and now Nokia has beautiful and functional phones that some will argue are on par with the iPhones and the Galaxys. It it was a fair start between Nokia Apple and Samsung, Elop would have been much more praised, but the huge momentum of the iPhone and the already developed ecosystem of the app stores were something you can do nothing against because it was too late.
Overall I expect an even better design for the hardware and I must say that I think the new team at Microsoft will do wonders. The cloud industry is projected to rise hugely in the near future and Nadella will make sure MS gets the absolute maximum of it, Bill Gates coming back to help again and Elop to build a better looking Xboxes and Surfaces? Just wait until the early investors get in. MS stock is the next Apple, you will be quoting my post.
 
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tarrant64

Member
Nokia were absolutely clueless before Elop came in. The last Symbian OS they released was disgraceful. They were going to become a second-class Android phone manufacturer as the design of the phones was also sooo much out of date. Just look at the phones before he came in, you will be surprised how bad they were compared to the competition. Elop turned it around and now Nokia has beautiful and functional phones that some will argue are on par with the iPhones and the Galaxys. It it was a fair start between Nokia Apple and Samsung, Elop would have been much more praised, but the huge momentum of the iPhone and the already developed ecosystem of the app stores were something you can do nothing against because it was too late.
Overall I expect an even better design for the hardware and I must say that I think the new team at Microsoft will do wonders. The cloud industry is projected to rise hugely in the near future and Nadella will make sure MS gets the absolute maximum of it, Bill Gates coming back to help again and Elop to build a better looking Xboxes and Surfaces? Just wait until the early investors get in. MS stock is the next Apple, you will be quoting my post.

I am quoting your post - better looking xbox and surface?

Both of which don't have problems in the looks department, purely functionality and software. So again...still wondering what Elop is supposed to do there. Neither of those products (Surface is debatable) are really struggling right now. Xbox being behind in PS4 sales? Its still early in the game, and someone has to be #1, there's always a #2. Surface 2? Doing much better than the first time around with nothing really changed in terms of the looks department.
 

msft

New Member
surface is fine but I disagree about the xbox. it could be a lot better and it will be in the future. Microsoft started producing beautiful hardware with the lumia and surface brands and I expect that to translate to xbox thanks to Elop.
 

CreativeLemming

Active Member
surface is fine but I disagree about the xbox. it could be a lot better and it will be in the future. Microsoft started producing beautiful hardware with the lumia and surface brands and I expect that to translate to xbox thanks to Elop.

If you compare the design of the N9 (based on the disbanded Meego OS, designed before Elop came along) and Lumina, you'll probably notice a striking similarity. This was beautiful Nokia design, not Microsoft design. So they weren't completely clueless :)

Anyway, didn't mean for my comments turn into a Nokia/Meego/Symbian/Microsoft discussion, there are other forums for that. Was merely commenting on how his past history might help understand his comments.
 

tarrant64

Member
I do hope Elop does great things for the divisions he's taking over, it's just odd for me that (granted they were just rumors) that they would choose someone who was potentially questionable. But given the additional information about his history, he may be a great fit in terms of ensuring product success. I wish there was more on who else could have potentially taken the lead position, you know, who were the competitors (if any).
 

msft

New Member
the design might have been there, but what matters the most is the decision on sticking with it for the future. companies have hundreds if not thousands of designs and prototypes and do test the water all the time. a good ceo is the type that identifies the best possible solution and sticks with it. of course Elop didn't draw himself the design, same as Jobs didn't design the iPhone too. also Elop's plans on shutting down bing and xbox might have turned out good, who knows - a success can be achieved in many ways. personally I didn't like the idea, but I'm sure Elop will contribute to this division no matter what his vision is - these people are too professional, no worries there.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
the design might have been there, but what matters the most is the decision on sticking with it for the future. companies have hundreds if not thousands of designs and prototypes and do test the water all the time. a good ceo is the type that identifies the best possible solution and sticks with it. of course Elop didn't draw himself the design, same as Jobs didn't design the iPhone too. also Elop's plans on shutting down bing and xbox might have turned out good, who knows - a success can be achieved in many ways. personally I didn't like the idea, but I'm sure Elop will contribute to this division no matter what his vision is - these people are too professional, no worries there.

You seem to be an ardent supporter of Elop. As for me, I don't know the guy at all - even at third hand! All I know is the very little (and probably biased) accounts that I read in the popular press. But, I would like to know why you think Elop may make a positive difference to MS - particularly where the Surface line is concerned.
 

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