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Microsoft ‘s Stephen Elop Now Nokia’s CEO

Microsoft Business Division chief Stephen Elop joined as Nokia CEO, leaves the Redmond company without its top executive in the division responsible for some of the company’s biggest products — including the flagship Microsoft Office programs — and more than half of its annual revenues. Elop’s former lieutenants are now reporting to Steve Ballmer, according to CEO’s email to employees this morning. Which means replacing Elop must be at or near the top of Ballmer’s agenda.

Answering questions during a Nokia news conference in Finland, Elop said Ballmer’s reaction to his decision to leave was a mixture of disappointment and pride that someone Microsoft CEO helped guide would be leading the mobile phone giant. Elop described it as “a remarkably difficult and yet professional moment.”

The NYT quotes Gartner analyst Nick Jones: “Having an ex-Microsoft person running Nokia suggests lots of interesting possibilities for the future. Nokia plus Microsoft allying to fight Google and Apple. Now there’s a thought.”

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