CEO Since: 2010
Return During Tenure: -59%
First up, we have Stephen Elop — the head honcho at fading cell phone pioneer Nokia (NOK). When coming on board, Elop wrote a memo with an interesting title: “Burning Platform.” In it, he compared the Nokia smartphone business to a person that’s standing on a burning oil platform.
Unfortunately, the platform is still burning … and it may just sink into the ocean!
Sure Elop — a former Microsoft executive — struck a partnership deal with the software giant to use the Windows operating system. But that’s proven to be a strategic blunder. As seen with Nokia’s Lumia phones, the uptake has been lackluster. In hindsight, it seems that Google’s (GOOG) Android platform would have been a better choice.
In the second quarter, Nokia sold only 7.4 million units — 700,000 below the consensus estimate. The average sales price also slid, indicating that the Lumia brand is fairly weak.