Speaking to Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa has emphasized that the Nokia board supports their CEO Stephen Elop fully.
"Thanks to Stephen Elop and others, we have been able to get new phones with new operating systems faster into the market than ever before," Siilasmaa was quoted as saying to the paper.
MyNokiaBlog reports that Siilasmaa has defended Elop, saying he is being criticized too heavily, and that Nokiaâ€™s troubles have started all the way back in 2008.
Responding to questions about why Nokia had abandoned the Symbian operating system in favour of Windows Phone, Mr. Siilasmaa said that Nokia’s market share for Symbian-based phones had declined from a peak of nearly 60% since 2008, adding: "It was clear a year and half ago that we could no longer save Symbian."
"Our duty is above all to ensure that Nokia’s competitiveness is restored," Mr. Siilasmaa said.
He noted that Elop brought a more open corporate culture to Nokia, and he has operated extremely well because he has brought a lot of people to make decisions.
Mr. Siilasmaa praised Chief Executive Stephen Elop’s performance as "extremely analytical, critical, open and transparent" and he noted that a turnaround doesn’t happen in a short period of time.
Stephen Elop in a separate interview admitted to miscalculating the speed of the market.
He said during the last 1,5 year there has been situations where they have underestimated how the market will change. He noted that on certain issues they may have done things differently if they knew that the industry was changing fast, even faster than anybody expected.
He gave an example of the price drop in Android Phones in China, which has been so quick that in the short run their situation has become more difficult.
Siilasmaa said that on the one hand he has had to face "painful, if unavoidable decisions," while on the other he was pleased to be working toward a positive future.