This has been a rumor for a long time, but with with negotiations falling to pieces in June it was beginning to look as if it might never happen. With the complete overhaul of their focus and policies, and then with the forced retirement of CEO Steve Ballmer, it definitely didn’t seem as though they would be going through with this one.
But Microsoft announced this morning that they have settled a $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia. It is one of the biggest mergers in the last several years, putting the Windows 8 developer directly in sync with what is still its biggest manufacturer.
In addition to this, Steve Elop is apparently leaving as head of Nokia once the deal has been finalized and moving back over to Microsoft. This gives us a pretty big clue into who might just be the new CEO to take over Ballmer’s seat at the beginning of the year. It also might show what pushed the deal in the first place.
While this seems like a pretty decent guess, Ballmer isn’t saying for sure. He remained coy in a conversation with Joshua Topolsky of The Verge.
“Our board is going through a process open to internal and external candidates. It’s a process that they wanted well-known so they could consider everybody, internally and externally. Stephen Elop happens to be going from external to internal, but our board will consider everybody. They will do it in private — that’s the right way for the board to conduct its business.”
Yeah, they will “consider everybody”. Including the guy who is already a CEO at the company they have been trying – and have finally manage to – acquire just as the current head of the company is on his way out. I am sure that is totally a coincidence.
On the tail of this announcement was even more news. Marko Ahtisaari, the Vice President of Design at Nokia and the one who oversaw the creation of the Lumia series, will be leaving the company. This has been largely overlooked in the wake of the much bigger final deal between the two companies, but it is still a pretty big surprise.
It looks like exciting things are on the horizon for both Nokia and Microsoft. Between this and a new leader, it will be fascinating to see what is in the future for this once great technological innovator.